5 Carolina Panthers players set for bigger and better things in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers TE

One could argue that Ian Thomas has had enough chances to prove himself as a starting-caliber tight end. He was handed the No. 1 role in the immediate aftermath of Greg Olsen’s departure in free agency and offered almost nothing to the passing game ever since.

Although Thomas has grown as a blocker, there is much more to playing the position these days. But the Panthers kept faith with the former fourth-round selection this offseason with a three-year contract extension when many expected him to move elsewhere.

This new deal comes with increased expectations. But fans are right not to get too carried away where Thomas is concerned due to how much he’s flattered to deceive.

Perhaps the introduction of Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator will provide more opportunities. And the Indiana product has enough athleticism to become increasingly productive providing he can beat out Tommy Tremble in training camp.

Thomas got a nice financial sum from the Panthers before free agency. What’s important now is for the player to repay this faith by coming through for the offense in key moments and in the red zone.

If he can do this and install further confidence in his abilities, then the best is yet to come for Thomas in 2022 and potentially beyond.

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