In 2016, Greg Olsen became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Olsen, who was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl, led the Panthers with 80 receptions and 1,073 receiving yards. Trusted veteran Ed Dickson returns as the No. 2 behind Olsen for the fourth straight season.
1. Will Olsen make it four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons?
At this point, everyone pretty much assumes Olsen will reach the 1,000-yard mark. His consistency and dependability (hasn't missed a game in nine years!) make him one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Yes, Carolina has added more weapons around quarterback Cam Newton, but Olsen's status as the go-to guy won't change.
2. Will his contract situation be a distraction?
As cliché as it sounds, Olsen is a professional in every sense of the word. The 11-year veteran knows how to handle his business on and off the field, and with two years left on his contract, it would be surprising to see anything resembling a "distraction" develop when the Panthers gather for training camp.
3. Will a young guy contribute?
The only tight end not named Olsen or Dickson to record a catch in 2016 was Chris Manhertz. It was the first catch of his career and it went for 10 yards. Scott Simonson played five games and made his first career start, but he never made the stat sheet. The Panthers see something in both Manhertz and Simonson, but they'll need to take big strides to see the field more in 2017.