Carolina Panthers training camp awards: 2021 edition

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Arnold /

Dan Arnold – Carolina Panthers TE

There were plenty of candidates for this role. But the nod goes to tight end Dan Arnold thanks to a seamless transition to the Carolina Panthers during training camp.

If this continues into the regular season, it could be the signing of the spring from those in power.

Getting improved production from the tight end position after a threadbare contribution from those who were left in the wake of Greg Olsen’s departure was essential. At least from the outside looking in, it appears as if Arnold might just be the guy.

The free-agent signing from the Arizona Cardinals quickly became a reliable target of Sam Darnold’s across the middle and in the red zone. Although we saw little of Arnold over the first two games of training camp, he’s shown enough over the last few weeks to suggest an important role is on its way.

Arnold is also a vocal leader. A constant voice and a source of great encouragement that cannot be ignored.

Olsen was such a huge part of the organization on and off the field, it was always going to be a struggle once he and the team eventually went their separate ways. In Arnold, the Panthers may have found their long-term successor providing his camp form make a difference when it matters most.