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NFL Free Agency 2012: Panthers Signs RB Mike Tolbert; Could Jonathan Stewart Trade Be Coming?

The San Diego Chargers lost running back Mike Tolbert to the Carolina Panthers on Monday when the free agent signed a four-year deal with Denver Broncos head coach John Fox's old team. The NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that Tolbert has signed a four-year deal with the Panthers. That makes four running backs on the roster under contract. The others are DeAngelo Williams, Mike Goodson and Jonathan Stewart. The latter might now be the subject of trade speculation.

With Tolbert being a goal-line and short-yardage-situation running back, Stewart might find himself out of favor in Carolina. While nothing is brewing yet, it wouldn't be surprising if the team looked to trade Stewart. And John Fox might be interested in Stewart if the Panthers did pursue that route.

However, La Canfora is already shooting down that speculation and believes the team is signing a versatile player with a team-friendly contract. We'll see.

To read more about the Denver Broncos' free agency, visit our story stream here. For general Broncos news and information, check out the Mile High Report. To read more on NFL free agency news, visit the SB Nation NFL hub page.

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