5 surprising candidates to make the Panthers 53-man roster in 2022
By Dean Jones
Stephen Sullivan – Carolina Panthers TE
There might be a method to the Carolina Panthers’ madness of standing pat at the tight end position this offseason. Ian Thomas was given a new deal and Tommy Tremble’s upside remains, but another candidate set to get a chance in training camp represents an enticing option if everything finally comes together.
Stephen Sullivan certainly looked like an NFL-caliber tight end at times in LSU’s phenomenal offense that secured a national college football championship in 2019. The size and athleticism were enough for the Seattle Seahawks to take him in the seventh round when Carolina’s general manager Scott Fitterer was part of the decision-making process, but things haven’t gone quite according to plan so far.
Sullivan wasn’t in Seattle for long and the Panthers stashed him on their practice squad last season. But the coaching staff kept him on the books in the hope his newfound experience within the set-up can evolve in the coming weeks.
There is a real opportunity for Sullivan if he shows enough. Although it might be a stretch to think that the Panthers will end up taking three tight ends onto their roster initially.
What comes next is down to Sullivan. But he must leave no doubt this time around in pursuit of a roster position.