Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas faces five misdemeanor charges after attempting to evade police in Charlotte last July, per The Athletic’s Joseph Person.
According to Person, court records said Huntersville police stopped Thomas because his dirt bike — and a red ATV operated by another driver — did not have license plates. The 25-year-old reportedly sped up and drove into an oncoming traffic lane.
Thomas eventually stopped near his home, and police arrested him on charges of reckless driving and felony fleeing to elude. His attorney, George Laughrun, said prosecutors reduced the felony to a misdemeanor.
A Panthers spokesperson told Person that the team is aware of the incident and notified the NFL when it occurred. That means they knew about the legal situation when signing Thomas to a three-year, $16.5 million contract extension last week.
The #Panthers are keeping TE Ian Thomas, agreeing on a 3-year contract worth $16.5M source said. He gets $6.435M cash year 1 and $8M fully guaranteed. Really nice deal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 25, 2022
The 6’4″ tight end caught 18 of 30 targets for 188 yards last season and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 4 of the 2020 season.