March 8, 2016
NFL Rumors: Charles Johnson Turns Down $6 Million To Return To Carolina Panthers

NFL rumors swirled around the future of Charles Johnson after he was released by the Carolina Panthers. Since he was just 29 years old and still playing at a high level, there were interests from several teams in the National Football League. Johnson met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants, who reportedly offered him $6 million. According to Pro Football Talk, Johnson turned them down and returned to the Panthers on a favorable deal.

Reports have surfaced that Charles Johnson has signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. The deal is worth $3 million, which is much less than the $11 million that Johnson was initially scheduled to make. The large amount was a big reason why the Panthers decided to cut the defensive tackle in the first place. The desire to return to the Panthers was really strong because Johnson could have made another $3 million had he signed with the New York Giants.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
Cam Newton [Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]The fact that the New York Giants were willing to spend $6 million to sign Charles Johnson says a lot about their mentality. The team desperately wants to have a dominant defensive line again. That unit was the common denominator when Tom Coughlin led the Giants to two surprising Super Bowl victories. New York also visited with Mario Williams before the defensive end signed with the Miami Dolphins.

A team that definitely understands the value of having a dominant defensive line is the Carolina Panthers. With the front four being able to control the trenches against opposing offensive lines, it freed up Luke Kuechly to become one of the disruptive defensive forces in the NFL. Since the Panthers were able to quickly get to the quarterback, Josh Norman and the defensive backs didn't have to contain the receivers for too long of a period.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly
Luke Kuechly [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]By staying with the Carolina Panthers, Charles Johnson is letting everyone know that he believes they are a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl and not just a one-year wonder. Cam Newton has finally developed into a top notch quarterback and MVP candidate, so it makes sense that people want to play with him. With a couple of minor additions, the Panthers can find themselves back in the Super Bowl again next season.

The fact that Charles Johnson took a lot less money to stay with the Carolina Panthers proves that he is someone that cares about winning. Three million dollars is a lot of money, especially to someone that is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. That amount of money is pretty useful when you have a family to take care of as well. Johnson left a lot of cash on the table so that he can try to win a Super Bowl before he retires.

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]Since Charles Johnson took a discounted contract, Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is now obligated to use the salary cap space to build an even better defense. Gettleman has already locked down Josh Norman for another year. Norman is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Through the upcoming draft and free agency, Gettleman needs to improve the pass rush and beef up the secondary.

Professional athletes routinely are accused of being greedy. It feels nice to see Charles Johnson putting sports ahead of finances. Something like that makes people want to root for a player. Non-Carolina Panthers fans are likely to cheer on Johnson once their own NFL teams are eliminated from the Super Bowl. To a few athletes, that might be more valuable than dollar bills.

[Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images]