5 more cap-saving cuts the Carolina Panthers could make soon

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
2 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers TE

  • Cap saving – $2.18 million

The Ian Thomas experiment appears to be over. There was a huge opportunity awaiting the tight end in 2020 after the Carolina Panthers decided not to bring back prolific veteran Greg Olsen. But the simple fact of the matter is he didn’t get the opportunities or show enough to be considered a viable long-term option.

Thomas was targeted just 31 times throughout the season, which is proof positive of what the coaching staff thought of the player from a reliability standpoint. Not having a prominent pass-catcher across the middle really hurt the Panthers and this is an area that needs to be strengthened at the earliest possible opportunity.

The writing is on the wall for Thomas, to put it mildly. Carolina would save $2.18 million with an early release of the 2018 fourth-round pick, which is probably the best solution for all parties at this juncture.

The Indiana product showed plenty of promise as a rookie filling in for Olsen. But things have steadily regressed since and if the Panthers lose Curtis Samuel in free agency as expected, they simply have to get a better tight end option that can help in the passing game and during red-zone opportunities.