Newly signed Carolina Panthers TE Ian Thomas faces 5 misdemeanor charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tight end Ian Thomas, who last week signed a three-year extension with the Carolina Panthers, faces five misdemeanor charges for attempting to escape police on a dirt bike in July.

According to the police report obtained by ESPN, Thomas was placed under arrest for failure to heed to blue lights and sirens, reckless driving and operating an uninsured, unregistered dirt bike after taking off at a traffic stop north of Charlotte in Huntersville, North Carolina.

The incident surfaced on Monday, three days after Thomas received a three-year, $16.95 million deal to avoid becoming a free agent. A team spokesperson said the team was aware of the matter and notified the league at the time the incident occurred.

"Since this is a pending legal matter we won't have any further comment at this time,'' the team spokesperson said.

Thomas, 25, was a fourth-round pick out of Indiana in 2018. While he never materialized as the receiving threat the team hoped he would be, his value as a blocker was deemed worthy of a new deal.