5 free-agent tight ends the Panthers could sign in 2021

(Syndication: The Enquirer) Hunter Henry
(Syndication: The Enquirer) Hunter Henry /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Tyler Kroft /

Tyler Kroft

  • 2020 team – Buffalo Bills

If the Carolina Panthers are looking for another relatively young tight end, Tyler Kroft could be their guy.

Over the past two seasons, Kroft has acted as a role player for the Buffalo Bills’ offense, as he’s played in 21 games and started in seven of them, securing 190 receiving yards and four touchdowns during his time with the organization.

Moreover, Kroft spent his first four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played his best football.

While with the Bengals, Kroft accumulated 67 catches for 661 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, which came from 51 games – 31 of which he was in the starting lineup.

Kroft has proven he can run efficient routes while also being a willing run blocker. He was used in many scenarios such as these last season and made key blocks, not to mention he had a nice game-winning touchdown last year against the Los Angeles Rams.

One problem is that Kroft hasn’t seen a lot of starting time since his 2017 season with the Bengals. He was used as a backup tight end last season, even though he got to start in four games for the Bills. The veteran is now entering his seventh year and may be looking for a starting job.

The Panthers do not have any connections to the Bills, other than some of their personnel being former staff members. Buffalo has been going after former players who once turned out in Carolina lately, so they will need to target him quickly in the event he gets a better offer from elsewhere.

Kroft could be a reliable pickup and would not cost the Panthers a lot of cap space and would be an instant upgrade over Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz.