The Panthers’ coaches and front office liked the attitude Jeremy Shockey brought to the offense last year in his first season in Charlotte.
Shockey took that attitude to cyberspace Thursday.
Shockey, the Panthers’ free agent tight end, engaged in a war of words on Twitter with former New York Giants teammate Amani Toomer after Toomer called Shockey a “bad teammate” and “worse person.”
Toomer was responding to a New York Daily News report that Shockey is interested in returning to the Giants, who took him in the first round of the 2002 draft. Shockey was traded to New Orleans in 2008 after a rocky end to his Giants’ tenure.
An injured Shockey watched the Giants’ first Super Bowl victory over New England from a luxury box at University of Phoenix Stadium, and reportedly got into a shouting match with Giants general manager Jerry Reese a few months later – an incident Toomer tweeted about Thursday.
“No!! Shockey,” Toomer posted on his Twitter account. “ ‘I will never play4 you again!’ he yelled at jerry Reese in 08. Let him keep his word. Bad teammate, worse person.”
Shockey responded with a reference to allegations from Toomer’s 2007 divorce proceedings.
“yes remember when his ex divorced him and he urinated on a her cloths,” Shockey tweeted. “I guess he’s the good person.”
Shockey later tweeted that he hasn’t talked to Toomer since “he loafed on a play and got man handled in my leg that caused it to break.”
While the exchange was retweeted throughout the day, it shed no light on where Shockey will end up this season. Shockey, 31, has seen his receptions total drop every year since his Pro Bowl season of 2006, culminating in a career-low 37 catches last season while splitting time with Greg Olsen.
Shockey said near midseason he wanted to return to Carolina. And while the Panthers are open to bringing Shockey back, they are reluctant to pay him the $4 million he made last year.
TRADING PLACES?: Two days after cutting veteran guard Travelle Wharton, the Panthers on Thursday hosted free agent guard Jason Brown, who was released by St. Louis. Meanwhile, Wharton was headed to St. Louis on Thursday night to meet with the Rams, according to a league source.
Brown, 28, a native of Henderson, N.C., who played at UNC, has played guard and center during his seven-year career. The Rams made him the league’s highest-paid center in 2009, but he lost his starting job midway through last season and was moved to guard.
The Rams saved a reported $2.8 million in cap space by cutting Brown, who played for Panthers offensive line coach John Matsko in Baltimore. The Panthers created $3.8 million in cap room by releasing the 30-year-old Wharton.
SAFETY VALVE: Baltimore Ravens free safety Haruki Nakamura wants to start. The Panthers want someone to compete with free safety Sherrod Martin for a starting job. So they brought Nakamura in for a visit this week.
Nakamura, 25, a sixth-round pick in 2008 out of Cincinnati, has played behind Pro Bowler Ed Reed for four seasons in Baltimore. Nakamura has 23 tackles on defense and four pass breakups in 56 regular-season games.
He also has been a leader on the Ravens’ special teams, an area the Panthers are looking to upgrade after disappointing special teams play in 2011.
CONNOR TO COWBOYS: After backing up Jon Beason for four seasons in Carolina, Dan Connor will get a chance to start after signing with Dallas. Connor received a 2-year deal, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Connor, 26, who had a career-high 87 tackles in 2011 with Beason sidelined, will be reunited with linebacker Sean Lee, his Penn State teammate, in Dallas.