Panthers sign former Seahawks TE Stephen Sullivan to reserve/futures contract

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Tim Weaver
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The Panthers have signed former Seahawks TE/WR/DE Stephen Sullivan to a reserve/futures contract, per team stat guru Will Bryan.

Sullivan was the team’s first free agent visit after they hired Scott Fitterer to be their general manager. He also shares a link with offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Sullivan played wide receiver/tight end for LSU in college when Brady was a member of their offensive staff. Sullivan posted 46 catches, 712 yards and three touchdowns in 24 games with the Tigers.

Seattle selected Sullivan (6-foot-5, 248 pounds) in the seventh round of last year’s draft and converted him to a defensive end. He played just a couple dozen snaps as a rookie, though.

Reserve/futures deals usually mean the player winds up on the practice squad, so we probably won’t see him on the field much this year, either.

Carolina’s tight end room offers opportunities for advancement, though. Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz both had very quiet 2020 seasons and aren’t very important in Brady’s scheme. Part of that is by design – it also makes more sense for Brady to emphasize his running backs and wide receivers given the personnel he has to work with.

The Panthers may soon sign another former Seahawks tight end. Greg Olsen announced his retirement from the NFL recently and he’s a good candidate to sign a one-day deal to go out with the team he played most of his career for.

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