Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

What Should The Chargers Do With Free Agent Mike Tolbert?


What do you all think AJ Smith has planned for Mike Tolbert?

Tolbert is the vulture down at the goal line and is used as our 3rd down back on offense. He is a much better blocker in the pass game than Ryan Mathews is and is good insurance if Mathews goes down with an injury (and that happens too often). There will be other teams that will be looking to add the bruising back onto their roster and he could find more playing time with other teams.

Should he be one of the players that the Chargers work to re-sign? Will other teams interest raise up his price tag?

As for my opinion, Tolbert won’t be worth the possible price tag for another season. Our depth at the position is thin, but I am sure that we can find another big bodied back that can chug for a couple of yards per carry.

He is the 3rd-down back on this team only because we lost Darren Sproles. He was the only option that we had on the team. He is not a threat to gain a big chunk of yards on 3rd down, but he is the best pass blocking back that was available.

Sometimes I even question his ability to get the job done in short yardage. On short yardage runs, he can only take the ball up the middle because he doesn’t have the wheels to bounce it outside. The defense usually stacks the middle of the field on short yardage situations on him and clog all the holes.

There should be a few options available in free agency that we could bring in that could be the 3rd-down back that we need (Justin Forsett, Steve Slaton, Jerious Norwood) OR someone to be the vulture down at the goal line (LeRon McClain).  They would probably come at a cheaper price than keeping Tolbert around.

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Tags: Mike Tolbert

  • JohnnieLovell

    i am hoping his fumble issues keep the price down so we can keep him cheap, could play fb or rb

    • epadaon

      @JohnnieLovell i wish we put him at fullback!!! if he were lined up back there with Mathews, we would have a dual threat back there! I don’t know if he can take on the linebacker as well as Hester, but i would give him a chance to prove himself

    • Vardog

      @JohnnieLovell The guy only fumbled 1 time in 121 attempts during the season. Hardly any fumbling issues in my opinion.

    • Vardog

      @JohnnieLovell The guy only fumbled 1 time in 121 attempts last season. Hardly any fumbling issues in my opinion.

    • Vardog

      @JohnnieLovell The guy only fumbled 2 times (lost 1) in 121 rushing attempts last season. Hardly any “fumbling issues” in my opinion.

  • All Charged Up

    There are times when when Tolbert fumbles or drops a pass, or when he makes a stupid decision to pull a Barry Sanders and loses yards for it, but he is more of a dynamic back than people give him credit for. Remember Week 1 against the Vikings? We were getting thrashed that 1st half, and if not for that amazing pick by SP95, we wouldn’t have gotten a TD. And who was the one in goal line situations getting some hard earned yards after contact? Or catching the ball at the goal line and then turning around and bashing through a DB to get into the endzone?

    Also, if you look at his stats, he only fumbled twice this season (lost 1) and that’s with crappy O-line play. For positive stats he scored 10 times, grabbed almost 500 rushing and 500 passing yards, and I believe tied the team for 12 ST tackles. He is a back that will only get better from this point on, and with a stable, and hopefully improving, O-line he will continue to develop in being a great football player.

    Plus, who can dance better than him on our team?

    • epadaon

      @All Charged Up nobody can dance better than him.. thats for sure!!!

      why does it feel like he had more fumbles than 2 last season? is it just me that feels like he put the ball on the ground more than that? I remember the one though AND it was HUGE!!! It was that moment he thought he was Barry Sanders and lost it! RIDICULOUS!

      His special teams play is AWESOME! You definitely convinced me a little more that we should keep him around…

      still, there are times i wish we gave mathews the opportunities at the goal line instead.

  • MikeTuck

    Tolbert should stay as SD’s insurance policy, the reason ” Training Regimon. His work ethic should inspire Mathews to be at his best. And used properly he is more than a back-up RB. Tolbert was used on the goal line inviting defendes to stack up the middle and Turner never disappoints. Tolbert is more of a 2nd down give Mathews a breather kind of guy. Some of his best were on swing passes to get him one on one in the open field. Mathews just like Tomlinson should have been taking those snaps. His speed to get around the outside combined with power to go uo the middlr. Tolbert has speed to, just not as quick to get there. This is the best combo we could have. Now in if Lamichael James drops below the second round the Chargers should kump on him. I read about the speedster from Florida, but James puts everything together. He’s fast, can catch, return, and straight up RB. They say he’s falling on the Big Board, let him fall right into the Chargers lap.

    • Bleu

      @MikeTuck none of those guys can match the contributions tolbert makes to our team. Runnin receiving blocking & special teams

  • SorianoJoe

    Tolbert has value as a special teamer, but some of his carries need to go to the more talented Mathews. Tolbert is a below average rusher, but he provides more than just that to the team with his blocking, receiving, and special teams play. The Chargers cannot give him too much and should cut his carries down to 100. Re-sign him, but don’t overvalue him is my motto. But I love his versatility, that’s a huge plus for SD. Tolbert, however, had a -.07 WPA last season. It’s an inexact stat, but it should be noted that Mathews was among the league leaders with a 1.41 WPA.

  • MikeTuck

    @JohnnieLovell I agree; I’d like to see an old school Fullback- Running back combo or even as two tailbacks blocking for each other. The idea is misdirection and Rivers should learn some slight of hand himself. That’s what makes for a good running game and it can set up the pass too. Hector is a great blocker too, so use both at the opposite of Mathews. Swing pass to Hector and run Tolbert with a solid ( 30 touches for ) mathews. They have to use more misdirection and change of tgame tempo to get defenses out of sync.

  • Vardog

    The Chargers better keep the man! Sure he might drop or fumble a ball once in a great while (who doesn’t) but he makes up for that on special teams and blocking. Any guy who loves contact and doesn’t shy away from it, is a very valuable asset to any team and he’s a great one for the Bolts.

    • Bleu

      @Vardog We have a very unique set of players in FA this year. Tolbert and Hester possess very good football skills bcuz they are both 3 dimensional players good at ST, receiving, and blocking. Not to mention there option to carry the ball. Losing them could prove that they are more substantial to our offense than people think. I understand there are some areas we may need to down grade to upgrade in others but trading tolbert hester or vj ain’t the answer

  • MikeTuck

    @Vardog; Amen to that!!

  • dgkbolts

    ATTN: CHARGERS MANAGEMENT: Do NOT … Do NOT … Do NOT trade away Mike Tolbert! For the love of God, stop undermining the team! Look at Darren Sproles!! Banner year! Someone duct tape AJ Smith to a chair and keep him away from all phones. We need Mike Tolbert!!


    ARE YOU CRAZY!! HE IS THE ONLY ONE MAKING KEY PLAYS NOW! KEEP TOLBERT! You have given away the best coach ever: MarTy Shottenheimer, the best players to Jets and Saints: Ladanian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles. This team has been picked apart and keeps getting worse year after year ever since you fired Shottenheimer! BAD DECISIONS!!! The decision-makers should be fired!!!

  • RobertScottBabcock

    Tolbert will be too expensive. If they cant keep him cheap, move to Forsett. He would be a very good backup for Mathews.

    • epadaon

      @RobertScottBabcock I would love if we got Forsett… I think he would be the closest replacement for sproles that we could get.

  • MikeTuck

    @GOCHARGERS; Most will agree with you as we have for quite a while. But Spanos spoke loud when he retained Smith and Turner. A poll of the San Diegans showed something like 70% wanted them gone, especially Smith. But their here and no use complaining any further, just pray that Dean Spanos sells the team next year to someone that knows football and is a fan. Dean Spanos is your typical Corporate buisnessman, Bottom line he could care less about what the fans think, this is his toy and he’s the one that counts. So just hope that they pull the better heads together and the team gets held together for a couple more years. Think Positive even with the anchor on our feet.

  • MikeTuck

    @dgkbolts You could lock Smith in Alcatraz and he’d still get us screwed up, I think he’s got his guys on the outside. Seriously, lets hope that the whole group of freeagents that played their asses off last year get retained. And bring in a Mario Williams to tell the rest of the team serious-damn right

  • MikeTuck

    @ RobertScottBabcock; and who says forcett is going to be that less expensive than Tolbert? If your going to be counting dimes to save a nichol I suppose your right, but a Charger is a Charger and this ain’t fantasy football. So you keep the guys you know can get it done and are familiar with each other. LaMichael James would be worth going after if Tolbert leaves, I’d rather he be backup RB because he has so many different talents. With Forcett you get a good runningback. With James you’d get a Reciever/returner/RB, he could have plays designed for him in all situations and Norve is good at that. We lost Sproles and we lost speed and 3rd down playmaking, James would fill that role.

  • Bleu

    I agree with retaining tolbert and going agree with going after lamicheal james. He would spark our special teams as a returner and he can assume a number of rules bcuz of his skillset…… Would be a great charger. We got to get alot better at PR than patrick crayton thats for sure…..

  • RobertScottBabcock

    @MikeTuck not going to disagree with you about the Tolbert alternatives, but I do have some issues with Tolberts style and attitude. If we can keep him cheap then I’m fine, but he’s not worth what he seems to think he’s worth. Therefore, I think we should look at those alternatives. As for Forsett, I just like his running style. You are probably right about the value play though.

  • MikeTuck

    @RobertScottBabcock ; Tolberts value is much more than a Runningback, which he’s really afficiante at. Remember mathews came in to training camp not in the best of shape. A guy like Tolbert can wear on Mathews in a good way, I don’t know if you’ve ever boxed but it is grueling work. it takes everything out of you. If your stanima is weak you’ll get knocked out fast. Tolbert’s training technique if rubbed off on Mathews would make Mathews a fantastic back. Mathews needs to learn work ethic and if we could retain Tolbert and make them workout buds, then Tolbert is going to be a trainer along with a runningback. My son use to play soccer to build his stamina for Basketball. This is right there my friend. Have you ever seen a running back break away and run out of gas. I saw Tomlinson do it quite a few times, and a back getting as many touches as he did will. But Mathews could benefit from Tolberts commitment.