4 Panthers free agents in 2022 who could be cut this offseason

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Juston Burris
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Juston Burris /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers TE

  • Cap saving – $563,000

It was a season that was expected to be a breakout one for Ian Thomas. The Carolina Panthers gave the tight end a significant confidence boost in the offseason when they chose not to keep prolific veteran Greg Olsen around, making him the team’s No. 1 option moving forward.

To say things haven’t turned out as expected would be a massive understatement. Thomas has been almost anonymous in the Panthers’ potent passing attack this season and has cast real doubt about his long-term aspirations with the franchise.

The former fourth-round pick out of Indiana has just 12 receptions from 18 targets this season. Thomas has managed 93 receiving yards and a touchdown from these limited opportunities, but his 45.6 grade from Pro Football Focus is a damning indictment of how much he’s disappointed through the first team weeks of the season.

It’s not going to cost Carolina the earth by going in a different direction. Thomas is on the penultimate year of his rookie deal and things would have to change completely in the last six games for the player to be given another chance.

A complete overhaul at the position might be more beneficial for the Panthers, who have missed Olsen’s reliability across the middle considerably.