Ed Dickson to meet with Panthers

Ed Dickson to meet with Panthers
April 9, 2014, 9:45 pm
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(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Ravens tight end Ed Dickson was expected to meet with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday and indications are the free agent could be close to a deal.

That might be the fresh start the former third-round draft pick needs after four seasons with the Ravens, the last two highly disappointing.

The Ravens had said in the past month that they were still open to re-signing Dickson, but the signing of former Texans tight end Owen Daniels pretty much shut the door on Dickson's return to Baltimore. Dickson struggled to adequately fill in for injured Dennis Pitta last season, finishing with 25 catches for 273 yards and one touchdown. He had five drops in 30 throws his way, the highest drop rate in the league according to stats website Pro Football Focus.

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Dickson was a third-round draft pick in 2010, taken one round before Dennis Pitta. He set career highs with 51 catches for 528 yards and five touchdowns in 2011, but his production dropped off dramatically the next season (21-225) as Pitta supplanted him as the Ravens go-to tight end.

The Panthers already have Greg Olsen (73 catches last year), so Dickson would be viewed as a No. 2 or No. 3 tight end option with the Panthers.

Dickson is one of the last of the unsigned players among the Ravens 13 free agents. Nearly all the rest have either re-signed with the Ravens, re-signed elsewhere or retired (Brandon Stokley). The only others still on the market are running back Bernard Scott and tight end Dallas Clark.