Carolina Panthers bringing back TE Ian Thomas on a new three-year deal worth 16.5 million dollars

Carolina Panthers, TE Ian Thomas agree to new three-year, $16.5M deal
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The Carolina Panthers are bringing back their starting tight end for the 2022 season and beyond.

Per Darin Gantt of, Thomas was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 16. The team’s fourth-round draft selection from 2018 posted 18 receptions for 188 yards in 2021, but made more of an impact in a different way, according to Gantt.

“But he has evolved into a reliable blocker, and is walking into a revamped offense which leaves room for growth as a receiver. He had 36 catches for (333) yards and two touchdowns as a rookie,” he wrote. “New coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system has always been friendly for tight ends, and having Thomas and Tommy Tremble gives them a place to start this offseason, as they revamp the offense.”

Thomas is another player who Carolina has elected to extend as they were on the verge of becoming a free agent, as they signed linebacker and special teams ace Frankie Luvu to a two-year deal last week as well.

While Thomas just finished off a season in which he played in all 17 games (starting 13 of them), all of his career-high receiving numbers came in 2018 as a rookie. That year he registered 36 receptions for 333 yards and two touchdowns on 49 targets, good for a 73.5% catch percentage.