Ex-Panthers TE Greg Olsen Reportedly Signs 1-Year, $7M Contract with Seahawks

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2020

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 29: Greg Olsen #88 of the Carolina Panthers after their game against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Greg Olsen reportedly isn't ready to hang up his cleats quite yet. 

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the three-time Pro Bowl tight end agreed to a one-year deal worth $7 million ($5.5 million guaranteed) with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday.

Schefter reported that Olsen also considered and visited the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins but decided he "felt most comfortable" with the Seahawks.

There had been lingering doubt about Olsen's future in the NFL. Rumblings about him walking away last offseason picked up steam amid a report from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post that he had offers from Fox and ESPN to become a television analyst. 

Greg Olsen @gregolsen88

Reading twitter like... https://t.co/5E2Nm4ZNBR

Instead, he returned to the field and had a successful 2019 all things considered. The New Jersey native racked up 597 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games playing primarily with Kyle Allen at quarterback.

Following the Panthers' 42-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 17, Olsen appeared to be saying his goodbyes to teammates, fans and coaches. 

Joe Person @josephperson

Sure looked like good-bye from Greg Olsen, with hugs and handshakes for teammates and waves to the crowd.

Per The Athletic's Joseph Person, Olsen seemed to indicate at the least his time with the Panthers was likely over:

"I just think sometimes the writing's on the wall. There hasn't been anything officially. But I wanted to make sure if that was my last time that I made sure I told the people that I needed to how much they meant on my career, and how much I enjoyed playing with these guys and playing (for) these coaches."

The Panthers made it official on Jan. 30 by announcing a mutual parting of ways with Olsen.

Greg Olsen @gregolsen88

-8️⃣8️⃣ https://t.co/GJlsw0p3gb

Last season marked the end of a specific era for the Panthers franchise. 

Ron Rivera, the winningest head coach in franchise history, was fired following a Week 13 loss to the Washington Redskins. Cam Newton's future with the organization is unclear as he rehabs from December surgery on his injured foot. 

Olsen arrived in Carolina along with Rivera and Newton prior to the 2011 season. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 31st overall pick in 2007 before being traded to the Panthers four years later. 

During his nine seasons with the Panthers, Olsen recorded 524 receptions for 6,463 yards and 39 touchdowns. He became the first tight end in NFL history to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons (2014-16). 

For his entire career, Olsen ranks 47th all-time with 718 receptions and 84th with 8,444 receiving yards. His contributions make him one of the most important players in Panthers history, and his overall performance could make him a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he eventually retires. 

Even though Olsen is no longer in the prime of his career, he's still a productive player who can make an impact in the passing game for Seattle.

The Seahawks continue to stockpile pass-catching assets for quarterback Russell Wilson. Their receiving corps is already a strength with Tyler Lockett surpassing 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last season and D.K. Metcalf recording 900 yards with seven touchdowns as a rookie. 

There was a significant drop in production behind that duo. Tight end Jacob Hollister was Seattle's third-leading receiver with 349 yards and three touchdowns on 41 catches. 

Wilson covers a lot of flaws for Seattle's roster, but surrounding him with another pass-catcher like Olsen makes his life easier. 

Olsen is an immediate upgrade at tight end for a Seahawks team that figures to be in a battle with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams atop the NFC West next season.