Former Panther tight end Jeremy Shockey is looking for a job but didn't let that stop him on Thursday from getting into a war of words via Twitter with his old New York Giants teammate, Amani Toomer.
It was only the latest display of Shockey's "attitude" or "edginess" or whatever you want to label it -- Toomer labeled Shockey a "bad teammate, worse person" after hearing the rumor that Shockey might want to return to the Giants.
Shockey responded with characteristic vitriol, mentioning on Twitter old divorce allegations that Toomer "urinated" on his ex-wife's clothes and that Toomer "loafed on a play and got man handled in my leg that caused it to break."
Juvenile stuff from both men, to be sure. And it made me wonder once again if Shockey is really worth the hassle.
At $4 million per year, which is what the Panthers paid Shockey last season, he certainly isn't. Greg Olsen is the clear No.1 tight end for Carolina. And even though Carolina likes to run a lot of two-tight sets, that's too much for a second tight end.
Maybe if Shockey would take half that he'd be worth bringing back, but even then you have to figure the Panthers have better pass-catchers and better locker room leaders. Shockey can be high-maintenance. And although he certainly wants to win, he doesn't always think before acting.
The Twitter feud with Toomer is only the latest example -- it might have felt good to Shockey to hammer Toomer with a couple of tweets, but you can rest assured every general manager in the NFL also saw that and thought to themselves, "Hmmmm.... do we really want this guy in our locker room?"
Shockey will play somewhere in 2012 -- he's not washed up. But it's going to be at a lot less than $4 million, and I ultimately don't think it will be with the Panthers. If I were the Panthers, I wouldn't bring him back unless it was at something close to the veteran minimum, and he may be able to get more than that somewhere else where there's no Olsen.
-- On a different note, the first big day of "March Madness" was more annoying than real madness, wasn't it? Too many games that weren't close at the end, too few upsets and two bad calls that derailed UNC Asheville's last chance at the ultimate upset over No.1 Syracuse. Hopefully today will be better. Here's my column about "Fantastic Friday."
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