It was reported last week that Ian Thomas has signed a three-year extension with the Panthers, contractually staying until 2026. While there was significant uproar on Panthers Twitter following the 3 years $15 million deal to the former Indiana tight end, the extension was made based on his marked improvements in run blocking and potential role in a McAdoo offense come 2022.
In 2018, Thomas hauled in 36 catches for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was while Olsen was still leading the tight end room, albeit in limited spurts due to his broken foot. With the hiring of Joe Brady, the utilization of tight ends went down, Thomas' catches going down as a result. The 2019 LSU offense was renowned for their star quarterback, running back, and receivers, but tight end Thaddeus Moss went undrafted, being used sparingly in the passing game.
There is hope for the young tight end in McAdoos offense as evidenced in Giants tight end Evan Engram. Holding the head coaching position with New York from 2016-2017, McAdoo drafted the former Ole Miss star at pick #23 in the first round. His rookie season saw him record 64 catches for 722 yards and 6 touchdowns. Thomas may not have the polish of an Evan Engram but he does have availability and raw talent.
It remains to be seen what Ian Thomas' role in the offense will be next year along with 2nd-year player Tommy Tremble who flashed his rookie season. How do you think Ian Thomas will be utilized next season? Leave your comments below.