Panthers Re-Sign TE Ian Thomas

The Panthers have re-upped another one of their pending free agents. Per a team announcement, they have re-signed TE Ian Thomas to a three-year deal. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport adds that the contract is worth a total of $16.95MM, with $8MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link).

Thomas’ rookie contract was set to expire, but he will now stay put in Carolina. A former fourth round pick, his rookie campaign was the most productive, as he totalled 36 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Since then, though, it has become clear that blocking is his forte.

In the the past three years, the 25-year-old hasn’t topped 20 receptions or 188 yards. His work as a blocker has made up for that, earning him a snap rate of over 60% for each of the past two seasons. Durability hasn’t been an issue, either, as he has yet to miss a game in his career. With new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, Thomas and 2021 rookie Tommy Tremble could be in line for an increased workload.

The new deal puts Thomas in the neighborhood of other highly-regarded blocking tight ends. Last season, for instance, the Ravens gave Nick Boyle a two-year, $13MM contract. The $5.65MM annual average makes Thomas’s deal the largest of the three taken care of by the Panthers so far, the other two being linebacker Frankie Luvu and long snapper J.J. Jansen

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