Carolina Panthers linked with daring raid for veteran tight end

Could this be an ooption for the Carolina Panthers?
Dan Morgan and Dave Canales
Dan Morgan and Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Canales is shifting the schematic concepts offensively. Frank Reich and Thomas Brown couldn't get on the same page and quarterback Bryce Young suffered greatly. The new head coach has a clear vision to move things forward and molded a staff who is fully aware of his demands.

Canales is extremely forthcoming about his offensive philosophy. He wants the Panthers to become a run-first operation. He demands physicality and ruthless aggression in equal measure. There will also be an emphasis on more tight-end involvement to potentially see this unit become more influential next season and beyond.

The Panthers haven't benefitted from consistent tight-end production since Greg Olsen left for the Seattle Seahawks in 2020. Tommy Tremble seems to be getting a legitimate chance to be the team's No. 1 option in the final year of his deal. Carolina also selected Ja'Tavion Sanders at No. 101 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, who could also contribute as a pass-catcher right out of the gate with a smooth transition.

Things are looking up, but it's a constant evaluation. If Canales and general manager Dan Morgan decide more is needed, it could lead Carolina's new power couple into additional measures.

Carolina Panthers linked with trade for Dawson Knox

This was a topic brought up by Enzo Flojo from Clutch Points. He named Dawson Knox as someone who could be a potential trade target for the Panthers if those in power aren't convinced by the options at their disposal before Week 1 at the New Orleans Saints.

"Dawson Knox had strong performances in 2021 and 2022. He neared 50 catches and exceeded 500 receiving yards each season, with 15 touchdowns over that period. However, with Dalton Kincaid's rise at tight end last season, Knox's role diminished significantly. Despite this reduced role, Knox would be a top-tier tight end for many NFL teams. Knox’s versatility in lining up at multiple positions and creating mismatches would bring a new element to the Panthers' offense. Developing chemistry with Young could lead to a productive, long-term partnership. Moreover, Knox’s red-zone presence would greatly improve the Panthers' scoring efficiency. That was an area of struggle during the 2023 season. Acquiring Knox would likely require a high draft pick and a role player. However, the immediate and future benefits make this investment worthwhile."

Enzo Flojo, Clutch Points

Knox is a decent player with proven production under his belt. He might take a back seat to Dalton Kincaid after the rookie demonstrated enormous promise in 2023, but it would be a huge shock if he was relegated to an innocent bystander within the Buffalo Bills' offensive system under former Panthers coordinator Joe Brady.

The Bills cannot afford Josh Allen to regress next season. Buffalo lost Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis this offseason. Khalil Shakir, Curtis Samuel, and second-round pick Keon Coleman fill the void, but having two consistent tight ends capable of picking up the slack would also help enormously.

That said, everyone has a price. Knox's cap numbers go up to $14 million and $17 million over the final two years of his deal. If Kincaid continues to evolve and eventually becomes one of the league's best pass-catchers at the position, it wouldn't be a shock to see the veteran traded or released before his contract expires.

One could make a strong case for Knox being an immediate upgrade on anything Carolina has right now. At the same time, the new regime seems willing to move forward with what they have before deciding on anything more drastic.

Again, it seems unlikely the Panthers would risk draft assets for Knox. But there is no doubt he would help this offseason greatly.