Grading every Panthers positional group after Week 1 of free agency

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Morgan Fox
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Morgan Fox /
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Carolina Panthers
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Arnold /

Carolina Panthers tight ends

How we miss Greg Olsen.

The Carolina Panthers have been trying to plug the hole left by the star tight end’s departure for a while now and have not even come close. With heir apparent Ian Thomas failing to live up to expectations and the departure of sure-handed blocker Chris Manhertz, they are left with an even bigger void to fill this offseason.

Thomas was seen as the next great pass catcher for the Panthers but has fallen well short, not topping 150 yards in either of the past two years. The former Indiana stud has largely been forgotten along with the entire position as a result which makes the passing game frustratingly one-dimensional.

The Panthers went out and got some help at the position in free agent Dan Arnold. The former Arizona Cardinals starter single-handedly outgained the entire Panthers’ tight end room last season and while their stats aren’t superstar quality, they are definitely an improvement.

However, Manhertz’s departure will be felt even more should the Panthers not address their needs along the offensive line. The level of edge security he brought will be sorely missed when it’s time to go against teams like the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Grade: C

With not much to show in terms of improvement at the position in free agency, the Panthers should keep a close eye on a player like Pat Freiermuth in the upcoming draft if he falls to the second round. Because as it stands now, the team still needs a lot of help.