Panthers depth chart: Tight end hopes pinned on Ian Thomas

Dean Jones
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Greg Olsen., Panthers depth chart
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Greg Olsen /

The Carolina Panthers depth chart has a notable absentee missing from the tight end position, but how will the current options fill the void?

Things appear thin on the Carolina Panthers depth chart regarding the tight end position. This is down in no small part to the free-agent departure of one of the most popular players in franchise history.

Greg Olsen emerged as a prolific player during his time with the organization. He formed brilliant chemistry with quarterback Cam Newton, who is another notable omission from the Panthers depth chart in 2020.

The experienced player has now decided to spend what is remaining of his career on a team that has a better chance of contending for a Super Bowl in the short term. Olsen signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks that included a $3.75 million signing bonus and $5.5 million guaranteed.

The tight end described the move as “an opportunity I couldn’t turn down” and it leaves a gaping hole on the Panthers depth chart that was not filled either in free agency or during the NFL Draft.

It seems strange that Carolina’s decision-makers did not bring in anyone of real note at the position heading into training camp. This is another intriguing element to an offseason that has been dramatic, to say the least.

Olsen not only produced the goods on the field despite a series of niggling injuries. But he was also a prominent locker room leader and it will be up to others to step up in his place.

When one looks at the Panthers depth chart, the tight end position is a concern. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady has his work cut out trying to get more than one player involved during what limited time the roster will have together before the season opener.