While fullback Mike Tolbert was happy playing football in San Diego, when free agency arrived and the Panthers came calling he couldn't resist an opportunity to return home to the Carolinas.
It was no cheap decision - it meant leaving $1 million on the table.
A native of Douglasville, Ga., Tolbert played at Coastal Carolina and says the decision to leave the Chargers and take less money was as much about family as it was football.
Tolbert says ''I just wanted to raise my daughter in the South.''
Despite the presence of 1,000-yard running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers are expecting Tolbert to see quite a bit of playing time at fullback and running back giving them even more versatility this season on offense.