"I feel very fortunate to have coached Mike for nearly his entire career," head coach Ron Rivera said, via the team's official website. "He was someone we targeted in 2012 because we felt he would be a good addition to our offense and he was very productive for us. He brought great energy and leadership to our locker room and I wish him the best."
Tolbert had one year remaining on a two-year contract signed last March. The move saves the Panthers $1.725 million on the salary cap.
With the Panthers, the three-time Pro Bowler earned 992 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 771 receiving yards and six touchdown catches. Last season he compiled 114 yards on 35 carries, and 10 receptions for 72 yards and a score.