Analysis: Panthers add red zone threat at TE with Dan Arnold signing

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Tim Weaver
·2 min read
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The Panthers made another low-key acquisition on Friday night, signing former Cardinals and Saints tight end Dan Arnold to a two-year deal worth only $6 million.

Arnold fits an early pattern of Carolina sticking to the “really targeted” approach that was promised in free agency by both head coach Matt Rhule and general manager Scott Fitterer going in. At that price, Arnold would have to be a total bust or injury write-off for things to go bad with this contract.

There’s really nothing not to like about this one. Arnold is three inches taller than Ian Thomas (he’s listed at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds) and takes at least some of the sting out of losing Chris Manhertz to the Jaguars.

Arnold’s best asset is what he can do in the red zone, which was a problem area for the Panthers last season to say the last. While we can lay a lot of the blame at the feet of Teddy Bridgewater, he certainly could have used a target like Arnold.

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In 2020, Arnold was productive despite not having a huge portion of the Kyler Murray/Kliff Kingsbury offense.

He was targeted 45 times, totaling 31 catches, 438 yards, 24 first downs and four touchdowns. Arnold also posted an impressive 128.9 passer rating when targeted.

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That kind of production at tight end is a step up and well worth the cost. Our gut feeling is the Panthers aren’t done at this spot, though.

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