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.
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.