Inside the Panthers

Panthers free agent tight end visiting Seattle – and vice versa

Seahawks free agent tight end Luke Willson is visiting the Panthers. Willson caught 15 passes in 2017, including four for touchdowns.
Seahawks free agent tight end Luke Willson is visiting the Panthers. Willson caught 15 passes in 2017, including four for touchdowns. AP

The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks could be swapping backup tight ends, who were crisscrossing the country Wednesday like a scene from “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Luke Willson, Seattle’s No. 2 tight end the past five seasons, was scheduled to arrive in Charlotte on Wednesday night for a free agent visit with the Panthers, according to league sources.

Meanwhile, Panthers free agent tight end Ed Dickson was on his way to Seattle to meet with the Seahawks, a source said.

dickson
Panthers backup tight end Ed Dickson has a free agent visit scheduled with Seattle, which could be replacing its top two tight ends. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Seattle could be replacing its top two tight ends after Jimmy Graham signed a reported three-year, $30 million deal with Green Bay.

Willson, 28, a Canadian who played collegiately at Rice, is regarded as both a proficient blocker and a receiver.

Willson caught 89 passes for 1,129 yards and 11 touchdowns over his first five seasons. And though he only had 15 receptions in 2017, four of them were for touchdowns.

Dickson, 30, is coming off his most productive season in four years with Carolina. Dickson pulled down 30 passes for 437 yards and a touchdown while filling in for more than half the season for an injured Greg Olsen. It was Dickson’s most prolific receiving season since 2011, his second year with Baltimore.

The Panthers often have used Dickson as a blocking fullback, and the team has not ruled out re-signing him, according to sources.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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