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.
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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.
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.