5 calls the Panthers should make first when free agency opens

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Jonnu Smith
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Jonnu Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) Jonnu Smith /

Carolina Panthers call Jonnu Smith

It’s no secret that the Carolina Panthers are on the lookout for additional production from the tight end spot this spring. Greg Olsen’s emotional retirement ceremony just one year after departing the organization only heightened this issue, so getting a productive veteran who can bring immediate assistance is a realistic option.

It doesn’t appear as if Hunter Henry is going to be within their price range. But that might not be the case where Jonnu Smith is concerned.

The Tennessee Titans are bracing themselves for his departure after deciding not to give the former Florida International standout the franchise tag, which will make him a hot commodity for teams looking for help in this area of the field.

Smith is athletically gifted with assured hands, something the Panthers simply didn’t get from Ian Thomas last time out. He made the most out of the targets that came his way in Tennessee’s run-first offense and there is scope for even more production from the player with more involvement elsewhere.

Generally speaking, tight end is not a positional group that demands the importance of others. But considering how limited Carolina was in this regard in 2020, the organization would be wise to get on the phone with Smith at the earliest possible opportunity to see if a potential deal can be worked out.