Jeremy Shockey's future unknown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Jeremy Shockey has considered retiring and that is news to Carolina's general manager.

Marty Hurney says, "We've gotten no indication that Jeremy's considering retirement at this point," adding that, "it's ultimately a question for Jeremy but all indications we are getting is that he wants to play."

That contradicts what Rivera said earlier Thursday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. Rivera created a stir when he said Shockey had talked about the possibility of retiring after the 2011 season.

Shockey, an unrestricted free agent, is one of the few question marks the Panthers have entering the offseason.

Shockey's agent Drew Rosenhaus did not return phone calls seeking comment. Shockey signed a one-year, $4 million deal last March after being released by the Saints. The 37-year-old tight end finished 2011 with 37 catches for 455 yards and four touchdowns.

Shockey and fellow tight end Greg Olsen were huge safety valve outlets for young quarterback Cam Newton, combining for 82 receptions for 995 yards and nine touchdowns.

The 6-foot-5, 251-pound Shockey made the Pro Bowl in four of his first five seasons in the NFL with the Giants, but also was known for brash comments and feuds with coach Tom Coughlin. He was traded to New Orleans before the 2008 season and caught a key touchdown pass in Saints' Super Bowl victory a year later.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.