Panthers rumors: Ted Ginn visits Carolina, excites Ron Rivera

Ezra Shaw

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera sees Ted Ginn as a potential offense and special teams contributor.

Ted Ginn Jr. visited with the Carolina Panthers this week, and head coach Ron Rivera could barely contain his excitement, according to the Charlotte Observer. The speedy wide receiver and return specialist impressed the Panthers enough to leave Charlotte with a contract offer.

"Ted came in and did a nice job. I know our guys really spoke highly of his visit," Rivera said Wednesday.

"The interesting thing about Ted is he gives us some depth at wide receiver who can challenge for playing time opportunity. But also he's got special teams value, which is big."

Ginn's production as a wide receiver has been in decline since his rookie year with the Miami Dolphins. Last season, he caught a career-low two passes -- both times he was targeted -- for 1 yard in 13 regular season games played with the San Francisco 49ers.

Ginn remains a dangerous return man, however. He has six career touchdowns on special teams -- three on kickoff returns and three on punt returns. Ginn split kick return duties with LaMichael James and Kyle Williams last season, but remained the 49ers primary punt return, taking back 32 for 326 yards and no touchdowns.

The Panthers were fairly respectable on punt returns last season, averaging 10.2 yards per return. They were worse on kickoffs, however, averaging 22.2 yards per return to rank 22nd in the NFL. Ginn certainly wouldn't hurt the team on special teams, and if the Rivera truly believes Ginn is underrated as a pass catcher, he should be able to get a great bargain on the former first round pick.

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