Carolina Panthers: Big things expected of Ian Thomas in 2020

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers /

Tight end Ian Thomas has a real opportunity to become the Carolina Panthers’ No.1 option at the position in 2020 following the departure of Greg Olsen.

Big things are expected from Carolina Panthers’ tight end Ian Thomas in 2020. The player has a real opportunity to make the starting spot his own and must take advantage.

The Panthers were dealt a blow when prolific tight end Greg Olsen left the franchise to sign a free-agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks. This left the franchise without one of their best pass-catchers over the middle and a significant threat in the red zone.

Thomas showed glimpses of what he was capable of in 2019. But more will be needed this time around if he wants to stay with the franchise long term.

Head coach Matt Rhule is known for a high-octane offense during his time at Baylor. Which could mean Thomas is going to get plenty of opportunities to showcase his ability and make the No.1 tight end spot his own.

There is the possibility that the Panthers spend a mid-to-late round selection on the position during the 2020 NFL Draft once they have addressed their defensive needs. This would provide additional competition for Thomas going forward.

The onus will be on the former fourth-round pick out of Indiana to prove he is worthy of a new deal heading into the penultimate year of his rookie contract. If the Panthers do not strengthen the position in the coming weeks, it will represent a huge vote of confidence in the player and one that he must repay.