Panthers May Move on Without Offensive Tackle Michael Oher
Offensive tackle Michael Oher has skipped the Carolina Panthers' voluntary offseason workouts and the early part of their organized team activities. However, his absence is not only due to concussion that caused him to miss the final 13 games of the last season.
Oher has not been cleared from the protocol but that is not the only reason for his absence. Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported that Oher has been dealing with personal matters and his continued absence may force the Panthers to move on without him.
Person said Oher's personal troubles are not limited to his April 14 altercation with ah Uber driver in Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives during the offseason. He is schedule to appear before a court on June 6 on the misdemeanor offense.
According to a report by WSOC-TV, Oher and the Uber driver had an argument during a ride to downtown Nashville. The report said Oher allegedly knocked the driver to the ground after the latter put his hand on the offensive tackle's face.
After skipping the first five weeks of the Panthers' voluntary offseason workouts, Oher has not communicated with the team if he will return and join the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Teams can fine players for skipping minicamp and missing weight benchmarks but Oher can use the concussion protocol as an excuse.
Oher's life was the subject of the best-selling book "The Blind Side", which was turned into a hit movie in 2009, starring Sandra Bullock. A first-round pick by Baltimore in 2009, Oher played five seasons with the Ravens, winning a Super Bowl ring in 2012. In 2014, he joined the Tennessee Titans and signed with the Panthers the next season.
After an impressive 2015, Oher signed a three-year, $21.6 million extension last summer with the Panthers, including $9.5 million in guaranteed money, per Spotrac.
Earlier, Panthers coach Ron Rivera has expressed optimism that Oher will be part of the team's 2017 plans. In case the Panthers part ways with Oher, they will have rookie Taylor Moton and third-year tackle Daryl Williams competing for his spot.
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