4 things we learned about the Panthers this offseason

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
3 of 5
Donte Jackson, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /

Carolina Panthers No. 2: Confidence in Donte Jackson and Ian Thomas

It has been a case of out with the old and in with the new across the board for the Carolina Panthers this offseason. But their recent moves have outlined a significant amount of confidence in two players who will be tasked with filling two prominent starting roles in 2020.

Cornerback Donte Jackson is now the team’s No. 1 option after they failed to match the offer James Bradberry received from the New York Giants in free agency. The former second-round pick out of LSU has performed well in a lesser role within Carolina’s secondary. But he will now be responsible for covering the opposition’s best receiving option next season.

More from Cat Crave

This is a substantial leap in responsibility for Jackson. Things will not be easy for the player. But if he can hold his own against the likes of Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and Julio Jones. Then it should be a great confidence boost and one that could come with a lucrative contract extension.

The same scenario applies to Ian Thomas. The Panthers parted ways with prolific tight end Greg Olsen in free agency. And their lack of real depth at the position has put the onus on the former Indiana standout to deliver the goods.

Thomas showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie. But his lack of productivity in 2019 is something of a concern.

This is the opportunity he has been waiting from the moment the player arrived in Carolina as a fourth-round pick in 2018. And it is clear that the organization has a tremendous amount of faith in their new No. 1 tight end.