Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has reportedly signed with a new team
Greg Olsen has found a new home.
According to ESPN, Olsen has agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Seahawks. He also visited Washington and the Bills.
Olsen is a 13-year NFL veteran, including the last nine seasons with the Panthers. At 34-years old, he was due around $11.7 million dollars in 2020, the final year of his contract. The Panthers cut him from the roster the first day they were able to do so.
Olsen wanted to stay with the Panthers, but it was the team's decision to let him go.
"I never asked the team to let me go," Olsen said in a phone interview with the Observer earlier this month. "I never said I didn't want to be part of whatever future direction they are going. It just wasn't meant to be. It wasn't in their plans."
He then took time to evaluate his future after his "pride was hurt" following the move. Olsen also has a career in broadcasting ahead of him, calling several XFL games this offseason, in addition to taking part in FOX's Super Bowl coverage earlier this month.
Prior to his final game in Carolina, Olsen said he was treating it as if it was his last with the Panthers and in the NFL. He had 25-30 family and friends in attendance at Bank of America Stadium and a tribute to him played on the monitor before the conclusion of the game. He spoke after the game about how his one regret was not being able to win the Super Bowl, especially with the team's run to the game in 2015.
"We'd just go back in time in a minute and try that again," Olsen said. "It's really the only thing in my career, I wasn't able to check that box. But sometimes things aren't fairy tales; it's the way it goes."
In Seattle, with quarterback Russell Wilson, Olsen will have an opportunity for postseason success.
Considered among the best tight ends in NFL history, Olsen had a historic career with the Panthers. He will leave as the team's all-time leading tight end in receiving yards (6,463), receptions (524) and 100-yard receiving games (10). In terms of Panthers receiving records, he ranks third all-time in yards and receptions behind Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad, and fourth in receiving touchdowns (39).
Olsen was especially dynamic on the field with Cam Newton, whose own future in Carolina is in doubt. Both joined the team in 2011 with Newton being drafted first overall by Carolina and Olsen coming via a trade with the Bears in exchange for a third-round pick. The tight end spent the first four years of his career in Chicago after they drafted him 31st overall in the 2007 NFL draft.
Since 2011, Olsen ranks fourth among tight ends in receiving yards (6,463), fifth in receiving touchdowns (39) and third in receiving first downs (340). He had three straight 1,000-plus yard receiving seasons from 2014-16, becoming the first tight end in NFL history to do so. During Olsen's first six seasons with the Panthers, he did not miss a game. Over the last three years, he missed 18 combined.
Helping out in the community has always been a priority for Olsen, especially pediatric care. He was twice named as the Panthers' finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Olsen and his wife, Kara, established The HEARTest Yard fund as part of the Greg Olsen Foundation after one of his twin sons, T.J., was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart disease.
The family has done significant charity work with the Levine's Children Hospital, including donating $2.5 million last year to help build a pediatric cardiovascular and congenital heart outpatient clinic. The Olsens can often be seen making visits to the hospital and giving back to the community.
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