Blog Entry

Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

Posted on: July 26, 2011 5:57 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 6:59 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

The Panthers are the surprising first big movers of the 2011 offseason, as they have dropped an absolute bombshell of a $76-million contract on free-agent defensive end Charles Johnson.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk first reported the news that Johnson's contract with the Panthers (which, again, is for $76 million) includes a $30 million signing bonus and $32 million in guaranteed money.

According to Steve Reed of the Gaston Gazette, multiple members of the Panthers coaching staff and front office, including GM Marty Hurney and head coach Ron Rivera, traveled to Miami to convince Johnson to sign with Carolina.

"I'm so excited," Johnson said. "I'm ready to get back to football."

Johnson, who broke out in a big way last season with 11.5 sacks, was listed as's Pete Prisco's No. 2-overall free agent in this year's class and considered the Panthers' top priority this offseason. He was also considered a prime target for the division-rival Falcons, and his family wanted him to sign with Atlanta but, per Reed, he was "blown away" by Carolina's offer.

"Could you have turned it down?" Johnson said.

The initial reaction to that question is clearly "no" and the response to the deal is probably "WHAT?" -- but it's actually not that insane. No, seriously, hear me out.

See, the Panthers defensive line is flat-out terrible. They also play six of their 16 annual games against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman. None of those guys are going anywhere anytime soon and if the Panthers wanted a chance in the division, re-upping the one guy on the roster who can pressure the quarterback was essential.

Additionally, the money is a big old chunk of change but consider that last year, the Bears paid a 31-year-old Julius Peppers more than $90 million over the life of a six-year deal.

Johnson, by the time he finishes up his deal, will be that same age. And though he might not equate to "Peppers in his prime," the money spent on Johnson will be well worth it if he can come close to his production in 2010 over the course of the deal.

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Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:14 pm

Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

So now guys who have one good but not great year get paid 76 million?  How is this not insanity?

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:09 pm

Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

He's the guy that replaced Julius Peppers and subsequently outplayed him.

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:03 pm

RPanthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

Jerry Richardson didn't want to commit Peppers to a long term contract with the players strike looming.  That's why Peppers was franchised in 2009 with a 1 year contract.  Now with the lock out over with, I guess the Panthers loading up.  I'm glad for Johnson and glad he is with Carolina.  Let's keep DeAngelo Williams and turn the team fortune around.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:00 pm

Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal


Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:46 pm

Report: Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

The Panthers just spent the money they saved on the #1 pick and paid it to a player they wanted and needed. The Panthers will save about 25 or so million on the #1 pick so why not give it to your top FA..  And Johnson has had more then one good season, he has been a solid player for the last three seasons just with linited PT behind Pep and Brayton(who he should have been starting over yr before last) Charles Johnson plays hard every snap and goes 100% at all times and is a good player against the run so he earned a payday. 


Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:42 pm

Report: Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

defintely NOT worth the $$, but, if he stays around 10 sacks per year through the deal, i would recant my statement immediately. Being the worst team in a division for the foreseeable future, I predict that he has a couple good yrs and couple plain, unexciting years through the duration of this deal. I bet most panther fans could think of at least 4-5 other players in the league that they would want their team to go get other than this guy, lol!!!! Good luck winning 4 games this yr carolina, hahahahhaha

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:39 pm

Report: Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

Well at least the lockout fixed something.  I just can not figure out what it was.  This is a crazy amount of money for a decent player.

Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:30 pm

Report: Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

That is a lot of money for a guy that had one good year, but when you consider just how terrible the Panthers d-line was last year it makes his numbers much more impressive, also he hasn't even reached his prime so in a couple of years this deal could turn out to be a bargain.

Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:21 pm

Report: Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

Get used to it. This free agency is going to be insane. Wait 'til you hear the winning bid for Asomugha.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:20 pm

Report: Panthers, DE Johnson agree to $76M deal

It's because of the new lockout deal. Teams have to spend a MINIMUM amount of money. At least he's a good player. You could be paying Cam Newton 76 million instead. What would you rather spend? 76 million on an above-average/good player or 76 million on an unproven prospect?

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