Sportress of Blogitude

Charles Johnson’s son thrilled he re-signed with the Panthers (vid)

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Charles Johnson wasn’t a member of the Carolina Panthers for nearly a week after the team cut him in a salary cap maneuver. But he returned to the organization where he has spent all nine seasons of his NFL career after signing a one-year deal that will pay him less than what he could have made by signing with another team.

“It was awkward, weird, new. It was an experience,” Johnson said, via the Panthers’ official site. “The whole time everyone is like, ‘Are you leaving? Are you not leaving?’

“I was just sitting back observing everybody and getting some entertainment out of it.”

And despite the stress, all indications suggest that not only is Johnson happy, his son, nicknamed “Lil CJ,” is pretty thrilled about it too, as evidenced by a tweet from his proud papa.

Johnson conceivably could have earned twice as much by signing with one of the several interested teams, which included the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But the defensive end indicated the one-year, $3 million deal — one that helped the Panthers clear about $11 million in cap space — simply made sense.

“It’s not about the money. Carolina is home and I wouldn’t have been happy if I went somewhere else,” said Johnson on Tuesday, via ESPN’s Josina Anderson

But Johnson, who is second all-time in sacks (63.5) and forced fumbles (17) in team history, did point out that the pay cut does mean his Panthers teammates will have to come up with a new nickname for him.

“It was hard, but at least they can’t call me ‘Big Money’ anymore,” Johnson said, via the Panthers’ official site. “They have to retire that. I’m ‘Small Money’ now.”