Ian Thomas - Carolina Panthers TE
I’m sure like myself, Carolina Panthers’ fans worldwide rejoiced at the news that tight end Ian Thomas was activated from injured/reserve and would play on Sunday. The former fourth-round pick has been a key factor in the offense this season with a monstrous two receptions for 36 receiving yards.
He didn’t disappoint against the Dallas Cowboys. In 16 offensive snaps, Thomas wasn’t targeted at all.
The decision to extend Thomas ahead of the 2022 season is another blot on the record of general manager Scott Fitterer. He is currently TE4 on the Panthers roster behind Hayden Hurst, Tommy Tremble, and Stephen Sullivan.
While as a blocker Thomas is adequate, his complete lack of receiving threat makes him practically pointless on the 53-man roster.
If the Panthers were to cut Thomas next offseason, they would save $2.35 million against the cap. This is a move Carolina should make without hesitation.
Tremble has flashed this season and seems to be a preferred target of quarterback Bryce Young in the red zone. Although Hurst has had little impact so far, he is still a much greater receiving threat than Thomas.
We’ve even seen a great deal more from Sullivan this season. This makes it even more logical for Thomas to receive the minimum of snaps moving forward ahead of what seems an inevitable release in 2024.