Carolina Panthers: Was not signing Jordan Reed a mistake?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Jordan Reed
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Jordan Reed /

Should the Carolina Panthers have gambled on the health of Jordan Reed to boost their options at tight end?

The Carolina Panthers may have missed a trick by not taking a chance on free-agent tight end Jordan Reed. This is an area of the field that has little depth behind No. 1 option Ian Thomas. And although there are some serious health concerns regarding the former Washington standout. It was seen as a risk worth taking by a prominent contender.

Reed ended a long period on the free-agent scrapheap by agreeing to a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, according to multiple reports. This gives Jimmy Garoppolo another prominent pass-catching presence to call upon. And it piles yet more pressure on Thomas to deliver the goods for the Carolina Panthers in 2020.

There is nothing to suggest that the former Indiana standout is not ready for this big step up in playing time. His rookie season starting in Greg Olsen’s absence was full of promise. But becoming an every-down tight end is something that still has more questions than answers from Thomas’ perspective.

Only time will tell as to whether he can make the most out of this chance. The Panthers are throwing a lot of players into the mix next season without any consistent starting experience. And this sink or swim mindset is going to see thrive and others wilt under the pressure.

The Carolina Panthers should have taken a chance on Jordan Reed

Having someone like Reed to go alongside Thomas wouldn’t have hurt. New offensive coordinator Joe Brady utilized tight ends heavily during his historic campaign leading LSU’s offense on their way to a National Championship. So a one-two punch at the position could have been another useful asset for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to call upon.

The concussion issue regarding Reed is an obvious concern. The player is now medically cleared to make a return to football activities. But there is just no telling what sort of damage another heavy hit is going to do.

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This was a gamble that Carolina’s front office deemed not worth taking. But if Reed can stay healthy, he could be the weapon that gets the Niners back to the promised land.

In all honestly, acquiring someone like Reed is something more befitting a contender rather than a team going through a substantial rebuild such as the Panthers. That being said, it would be prudent for the organization to get someone else in that could make an impact straight away if things do not go according to plan for Thomas.

Reed was arguably the best option available, albeit a high risk one. There are some other avenues that Carolina can gown down if they deem this necessary before competitive action gets back underway. But the onus will be on Thomas to prove his worth and make the No. 1 position his own for the foreseeable future.

There appears to be little competition for his job. Thomas will need to ensure complacency doesn’t become an issue. But he has all the athletic skills needed to become the next great pass-catcher at the position for the Panthers.

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