Dickson was signed by the Panthers in 2014 and has spent the last four seasons as Greg Olsen’s primary backup at the tight end position. While he’s been a solid addition to the depth chart for the Panthers, 2017 was his best season in Carolina, where he logged 30 receptions for 437 yards and one touchdown — his best production since the 2011 season as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
Dickson filled in admirably for Olsen while he was out with a fractured foot, logging his career best game in Carolina’s Week 5 27-24 win over the Detroit Lions — five receptions for 175 yards.
Dickson has been a good veteran presence on the depth chart during his time in Carolina, but he’s clearly the TE2 on the roster at this point. If the Falcons and/or Packers are interested in signing him, the Panthers should let him go and take the compensatory pick they would get in return. There are plenty of options in the free agent market and NFL Draft to find a backup tight end, and the Panthers even have Chris Manhertz on the roster to fill that void should Dickson sign elsewhere.
The free agency frenzy has only just begun, Panthers fans. Stay tuned to CSR for all the free agency news, rumors and signings as we’ll continue to provide updates whenever they’re available!