4 mistakes the Panthers must not make in 2021 free agency

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Not getting help at TE

Unless the Carolina Panthers get an instant impact player like Kyle Pitts or Brevin Jordan in the 2021 NFL Draft, their best option would be looking to the free-agent market to secure a prominent pass-catching tight end who can finally fill the gaping void left by Greg Olsen.

Ian Thomas didn’t exactly make a strong case for keeping the No. 1 spot last season. So it’s an area that the organization needs to address.

This becomes even more pressing if Curtis Samuel departs in free agency as expected. The wide receiver became a reliable third-down target for Teddy Bridgewater in 2020 and masked the lack of tight end production in the process.

Simply put, it is something that cannot continue.

Every team challenging in the postseason has a strong tight end to utilize across the middle and in the red zone. Carolina was at its best in the mid-2010s when they had exactly that with Olsen and the sooner they can get someone capable of this, the better their chances will be.

Ignoring this positional group in free agency would be a serious error in judgment. Thomas’s limitations are there for all to see and the Panthers need to get the most out of Joe Brady’s offensive scheme while they can, which used tight ends heavily during his time at LSU.