4 winners and losers from Carolina Panthers early offseason workouts in 2023

Terrace Marshall Jr.
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Loser: Ian Thomas - Carolina Panthers TE

When the Carolina Panthers signed veteran free agent Hayden Hurst in free agency, things looked bleak for Ian Thomas just one year after he signed an extension. The tight end once again flattered to deceive within a system that wasn't exactly maximizing the position, but a pay-cut compromise ensured he got the chance to stick around in some capacity.

This is seemingly going to be as a blocking specialist unless the former Indiana standout takes a drastic leap forward under the new coaching regime. But based on the last few weeks, Thomas might be falling further down the pecking order given the glowing praise centered on Tommy Tremble throughout Carolina's early offseason workouts.

While there isn't any immediate pressure on Thomas losing his 53-man roster spot, just how involved the fourth-round selection in 2018 becomes under the new coaching regime is unclear. Reading into the Panthers working out Jordan Matthews, they might not be done adding to their options in this area of the field, either.

Either way, the message is clear. The gauntlet has been laid down emphatically and how Thomas responds is going to tell us plenty about what his long-term future in Carolina could look like.

It isn't Thomas' first go-around with doubts surrounding his status. He's survived the speculation before, but things might not be as easy this time around.