4 best-case scenarios for the Carolina Panthers in 2021 free agency

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) Jonnu Smith /

Carolina Panthers get a reliable tight end

One of the real problems that befell the Carolina Panthers during the 2020 season was a lack of production from their tight end options. Greg Olsen left the organization for the Seattle Seahawks and while it was always going to be hard for anyone to replicate his production, the underwhelming contribution made by Ian Thomas was glaring.

Regardless of who is under center in Carolina next time around, they’ll need a more dependable presence catching across the middle. This was a key component of the Panthers’ success in the mid-2010s when Olsen was at the peak of his powers and whether it’s in free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft, the situation needs to be addressed.

Getting reliable production from the outset with an incoming college recruit can sometimes be difficult. However, there are plenty of enticing free agents looking for a new home this offseason that Carolina would be wise to pursue.

It doesn’t appear as if someone like Hunter Henry will be in their price range. But if they could get their hands on a physically imposing individual with plenty of upside such as Jonnu Smith from the Tennessee Titans, it would benefit the Panthers greatly.

Joe Brady utilized tight ends heavily at LSU. So getting a veteran who can immediately make an impression should enable the offensive coordinator’s playbook to open up as a result.