Throughout the ups-and-downs of the John Fox era, the Panthers have lacked a pass-catching tight end. The team is not expected to drastically change its offensive philosophy and go hunting for one this offseason, we hear. Since the start of the 2002 season, the Panthers have had a tight end catch more than 34 passes just once — Jeff King made 46 grabs in ’07. Fox values blocking tight ends for the team's run-oriented offense, and finding one that can stretch the field doesn't seem to be a high priority for him. Sources expect the team to enter ’10 with the same group of tight ends it had for the past two seasons — King, Dante Rosario and Gary Barnidge. King will be a restricted free agent this offseason and Carolina is expected to issue him a one-year tender. The Panthers shouldn't have trouble re-signing him. Barnidge showed improvement in ’09 and could play a larger role in ’10.
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