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April 10, 2014

Panthers sign TE Ed Dickson to one-year deal

Without a true No. 1 receiver and with no guarantee they'll get one in next month's draft, the Panthers are expected to play more two-tight end sets in 2014.

They took an important step in that direction Thursday by acquiring another pass-catching tight end.

The Panthers signed former Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson to a one-year contract, the team announced. Dickson, 26, agreed to a veteran minimum deal worth $795,000, including a $65,000 signing bonus, according to a league source.

Dickson started 14 games last season after the Ravens lost starting tight end Dennis Pitta to a hip injury for much of the year. Dickson had 25 receptions for 272 yards and one touchdown, and was victimized by several dropped passes at the beginning of the season.

But the former third-round pick from Oregon has shown he's capable of being a consistent receiving threat. In 2011 during his second season, Dickson pulled down 54 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns.

Dickson, who is 6-4 and 244 pounds with good speed, will try to win the No. 2 job behind Greg Olsen, who is coming off the two most prolific receiving seasons by a Panthers tight end.

"Ed is a young player who has shown he is a capable blocker as well as receiver in the league," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in a release. "He provides experienced depth at the tight end position, and we look forward to having him in the mix."

Despite his issues with drops last season, Dickson is known more as a receiving tight end. In fact, the football analytics site Pro Football Focus ranked Dickson as the league's worst blocking tight end in 2013.

The Panthers also re-signed tight end/fullback Richie Brockel this offseason, and brought in free agent tight end Mike McNeill, who was a blocking specialist in St. Louis.

Ben Hartsock, another blocking tight end, is an unrestricted free agent.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on April 10, 2014 at 02:51 PM | Permalink


I love the direction the team is headed. Another solid free agency period that everyone will over look until the season starts. Jason Avant,Ed , and Jericho Cotchery will all be solid factory in the 2014. Favorite things about Cotchery and Avant is they're versatile WR that can play all the WR positions, they both run good routes and Cotchery has some of the best hands in the game. Dickson and Olsen will be fun to watch because Dickson compliments Olsen well. I know everyone is mad about losing Smith but, we had to move on eventually.

Posted by: Gee | Apr 10, 2014 3:15:10 PM

No ill will towards Dickson but what about the new guy Williams? That guy is a beast and I wanted to see a lot more of him this year. Prolly not gonna happen now. What do you think Joe? i know you're gonna read the comments, tell us what you think about that.

Posted by: Brian Morgan | Apr 10, 2014 3:18:15 PM

I like that they added another veteran presence but I'm with you Brian, I thought Williams would get a shot. Who knows, he could still push for more playing time than last year with more 2-TE sets

Posted by: Wesley Walls Baby! | Apr 10, 2014 3:32:21 PM

Better put some stick-um on those hands

Posted by: Ogy | Apr 10, 2014 3:34:49 PM

Ravens fan here, but not hating. I just want to point out that while Dickson may show flashes of greatness and athletic ability, he can't be counted upon. He had a huge opportunity when Pitta got hurt. But he dropped so many passes that Flacco couldn't trust him, so we had to rely on an ancient (but proven) Dallas Clark. Not bashing the guy, but he's not someone I'd want if I was rebuilding my offense. But maybe a fresh start in a backup position could boost his confidence and wake him up so he'll reach his potential. But for the price and the possible upside, very solid signing. Best of luck. Except, you know, with the whole blood and guts thing. Looking forward to that.

Posted by: Tyler | Apr 10, 2014 3:42:08 PM

We don't want to get fooled that this helps our receirver corps. He's just another cheap body. Dumpster Diver Dave is at it again.

Posted by: Tom Russell | Apr 10, 2014 3:57:33 PM

We don't want to get fooled that this helps our receirver corps. He's just another cheap body. Dumpster Diver Dave is at it again.

Posted by: Tom Russell | Apr 10, 2014 3:57:33 PM

Nice post Tyler. I heard Mac this morning saying the same about Dickson. One thing stuck in the back of my mind is attrition. You never make it to the regular season with nobody on IR. This guy is insurance if nothing else and if he makes some plays then great. If not we got what we paid for. Hope Smitty stays healthy. I didn't like seeing him injured with no contact. Hope that isn't a trend going forward.

Posted by: Jake | Apr 10, 2014 3:58:58 PM

I think the Panthers GM read Moneyball, or at least saw the movie. I see all these moves by Dave Gettleman as that. It is actually a good plan until the team gets out of salary-cap trouble.

Posted by: Wade | Apr 10, 2014 4:03:55 PM

All of our receivers dropped key balls last year! Including Smitty.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 10, 2014 4:05:35 PM

Dickson and Crotchery. Loving this.

Posted by: tony clifton | Apr 10, 2014 4:57:36 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Apr 10, 2014 4:58:39 PM

I see the offense being better than last years 29th ranking. At least our players know now.... PUT OUT OR GET OUT. Some we're getting too comfortable! I love all of those guys, until they left our team. Now they are the enemy. Just the way it is.

Posted by: Jarrod | Apr 10, 2014 4:59:27 PM

And btw GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jarrod | Apr 10, 2014 5:06:55 PM

I like the signings but would like to see a few more two year deals so we don't have another 50 free agents who do well and then cash in somewhere else after one year. That was fine with Domenick Hixon but I would've liked to have had Mike Mitchell and Ted Ginn another year at the same price as this past year. Eating Dixon to keep the other two would have been worth it. Stick a couple two year deals in there Dave! Otherwise, very pleased and keep up the good work finding that value talent.

Posted by: YeahRight | Apr 10, 2014 5:44:24 PM

I meant eating Hixon for another year, not Dixon.....sorry.

Posted by: YeahRight | Apr 10, 2014 5:45:07 PM

Solid signing, don't know much about the guy, but it appears he can stretch the field as a TE, looks more like a big WR than a TE, nice compliment to Olsen. Can't speak to his hands, but it's not like the guys we lost were sure handed.

Posted by: Kent | Apr 10, 2014 5:53:46 PM

Hey Tom Russell! Dumpster Divin' Dave went 12-4 last year with his "rejects". I'm sure you wrote the same crap then.
With Smitty, better a year early than a year late!

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Apr 10, 2014 6:02:53 PM

This a good move. I like the two tight end concept, opens the field.

Posted by: par404 | Apr 10, 2014 6:07:51 PM

Funny how the people complaining about our offense seem to have forgotten how bad it was last season. When you are 29th in passing offense you blow that crap up and start fresh as there is very little room to do anything but improve. Love this signing as he's a very solid #2 TE with potential to be more, for a cheap price on a cap strapped team.

Posted by: Tsi2quick | Apr 10, 2014 6:38:05 PM

These bold moves that out GM Dave Gettleman is making me anxious for the season to start... I'm gonna give it a chance because he did it last year successfully and I think he can do it again... We went 12-4 last year with essentially the same WR CORE (stats wise) so, I gonna see how far the RABBIT HOLE GOES as they say lol! #DoWorkGettleman #KeepPounding #PantherUp

Posted by: DaRealBeard | Apr 10, 2014 8:29:01 PM

Let's talk about dropped passes since Dickson is being criticized by a sour grapes Ravens fan.
Dickson had 4 drops last year. Just like Greg Olsen, Vernon Davis and yes even "ancient but proven" Dallas Clark. Clark and Dickson had 31 and 26 passes thrown to them last year. I'm not saying that's acceptable but who is to say that it wasn't the QB's fault since the results were the same no matter who was catching the ball.
Panther fans remember that just because it's in black and white, it doesn't mean it's true.

Posted by: BUTTER FINGERS | Apr 10, 2014 9:12:41 PM

Yeah right Gettleman must have heard you. Thomas Decoud just signed a 2 year deal. Solid signing.

Posted by: BUTTER FINGERS | Apr 10, 2014 9:15:57 PM

I'm sure the problem he had with dropped passes is something that can be worked on (heavily) during camp and practice. Hopeful he can get back to his 2011 numbers.

Posted by: JoeV | Apr 10, 2014 9:26:42 PM

thomas decoud is a big pickup. that shores up the questions at safety 100%. godfrey will be gone in a day, and you have decoud, harper, lester, and i believe jones.

down to only 4 holes but still a significant decline at receiver, corner, and o-line barring a ridiculous draft.

and let's also note that decoud and harper are up there in football age. as are avant and cotchery. avant and cotchery are solid replacements for ginn (on offense) and lafell (albeit much older) but we still need to hit a home run to replace smith now and replace lafell long term.....and the return game playmaker.

barring a huge surprise, we need to land 3 starters in the draft AND resign bell.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 11, 2014 12:16:04 AM

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