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: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:18 pm

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

Did I miss something? When did a guy who had one decent breakout season become a top paid end? 11.5 sacks isn't Jared Allen numbers or anything. I guess this explains why some teams are scrapping bottom of the standings.

Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:17 pm

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

Totally ridiculous!
$76 million to a freaking defensive end. This just goes to show that the amount that athletes are making is so way out of control. Good thing I watch games on TV instead of footing the bill for the stupid owners that have set a totally un-real presidence in paying athletes. Guess the fans that goes will have to pay these insane figures. No athlete in the world deserves $76 million, at least in salary!

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:16 pm

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

Wow is it me or is that crazy for this guy?! I mean the guy they let go in J-Pep goes to Chicago for $42.5M guaranteed and through his first four seasons he had 50.5 sacks and lived up to potential after being a super freak and super productive in college. Johnson had 15 sacks in college and sank to the 3rd round and had 10 sacks in his first 3 years and a breakout of 11.5 last year. I know he is younger than Peppers but just a little shocking seeing a franchise player let go who was productive other than '07 and warranted double teams constantly and gave it to someone else.

Oh well, as a Bears fan I am not mad at all, but as a football fan having J-Pep and Johnson on the outside would have garnered a couple more victories I'm sure and they could have gotten Patrick Peterson from LSU to solidify that defense along with Jon Beason (from The U!!!) to a top 10 no doubt. Offense would have dragged, but then that would give them another year to see if Jimmy Claussen was for real or not and had a chance at Andrew Luck otherwise. Guess we will see if Charles Johnson is worth the money paid like Freeney, Peppers, Allen etc, time will tell...

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