5 Carolina Panthers players who’ve contributed almost nothing in 2022
By Dean Jones
Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers TE
Considering the lack of production attained by Ian Thomas from a pass-catching standpoint, his three-year extension before free agency raised more than a few eyebrows. The former fourth-round pick is an outstanding blocker, but that doesn’t entirely cut it in the modern-day NFL anymore given how influential the tight-end position is within almost every prolific offense across the league.
Thomas assumed prominent responsibilities once again and there was hope the introduction of new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo could help propel him to better fortunes in 2022. It was an encouraging start in Week 1, but things have returned to normality ever since and it’s now evident the Carolina Panthers need a more consistent option moving forward.
The Indiana product has just 12 receptions for 120 receiving yards from 18 targets this season. Much will depend on how a new head coach perceives Thomas’ role when the time comes, but it wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world to see Carolina go in a completely different direction next spring.
Tommy Tremble’s emergence in the wake of Matt Rhule’s firing and the flashes shown by Stephen Sulivan has made Thomas an afterthought in the passing game. He has just two catches for five receiving yards over the last three weeks, which is a damning indictment of his production overall.
Perhaps a fresh start would be the best possible solution for all parties. Something Thomas could have done earlier this year before getting a new deal from the Panthers.