After the Carolina Panthers released three of their top wide receivers, Steve Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., and Brandon LaFell, many fans were upset and shocked. However, the Panthers let free agency settle down, and finally went out and signed Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood, and Jason Avant. On Thursday, April 10th they went out and signed former Baltimore Ravens tight end Ed Dickson.
Dickson, who spent four seasons with the Ravens saw an increased role when Dennis Pitta went down last season. He caught 25 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown in 2013. With this being the second tight end signed by the Panthers in free agency, the other being Mike McNeill, there was definitely a plan in place.
As reported by Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, this is what head coach Ron Rivera had to say about the newly acquired tight end Ed Dickson.
“Ed is a young player who has shown he is a capable blocker as well as receiver in the league,” Rivera said. “He provides experienced depth at the tight end position, and we look forward to having him in the mix.”
We all remember, Cam Newton’s memorable rookie season as he combined for 4,051 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. That year, 9 of his 21 passing touchdowns were caught by tight ends, Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey. That same year, the Panthers offense used many two tight end formations.
With the signing of Ed Dickson, a capable blocking and receiving tight end, this could be the indication that offensive coordinator, Mike Shula, is bringing back two tight end sets. Something Cam Newton loves.