Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood visits Panthers Thursday

jjones@charlotteobserver.comMarch 20, 2014 

Five-year receiver Tiquan Underwood had a visit planned with the Panthers on Thursday, according to a league source and Tampa Bay Times report.

Underwood, who spent the past two years with Tampa Bay, would likely fit in with Carolina as a No. 3 or 4 receiver as well as one of the team’s top options at kick returner.

Underwood had a career-high 440 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 24 catches last season with the Buccaneers. He averaged 18.5 yards per reception, including an 85-yard reception last season.

Underwood was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 draft by Jacksonville, where he stayed for two years before going to New England for 10 games.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Underwood, who’s known for his high-top hairstyle, showed a strong kick return game while in Jacksonville. In 2010 he returned 24 kicks for 561 yards, or an average of 23.4 yards per return.

Receiver Kealoha Pilares and running back Kenjon Barner are the only kick and/or punt returners currently on Carolina’s roster.

Cason comes to Charlotte: Former Cardinals cornerback Antoine Cason also visited the Panthers on Thursday, according to a league source.

Cason was originally scheduled to visit Charlotte on Wednesday, but a quick change of agents derailed those plans.

Cason, 27, didn’t win the starting job in Arizona last year after starting the previous three seasons in San Diego. The Chargers drafted Cason in the first round of the 2008 draft when Panthers coach Ron Rivera was the defensive coordinator.

The Panthers lost starting cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to free agency and have yet to negotiate a new deal with veteran free agent corner Drayton Florence. Second-year cornerback Melvin White, who was an undrafted rookie last season, started 10 games.

Receiving visitors: Former Texans receiver Lestar Jean was scheduled to meet and work out with the Panthers on Thursday night, and the meeting is slated to continue Friday, according to a league source.

Jean, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver, played at Florida Atlantic before Houston signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2011. He has 10 career receptions for 186 yards and one touchdown.

The Panthers also are working out receiver C.J. Akins, who signed with St. Louis last year as an undrafted free agent but injured his Achilles during OTAs.

Scouting Desir: Lindenwood (Mo.) cornerback Pierre Desir worked out for the Panthers on Thursday, according to a league.

Desir, one of the top cornerbacks in this year’s draft class, had his pro day on Wednesday, and he worked out privately for Carolina the following day.

Desir, who’s a solid press coverage corner, ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at his pro day. He could go as high as the second round or as low as the fourth.

He was a first-team AP Little All-American at Lindenwood in his senior year, and he totaled 13 interceptions in his final two seasons.

Staff writer Joseph Person contributed.

Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9

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