Greg Olsen, Panthers Part Ways After 9 Seasons; Reportedly Has TV Options

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2020

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Tight end Greg Olsen's time with the Carolina Panthers is over after nine seasons.

The Panthers announced the two sides mutually parted ways and shared a statement from Olsen:

"Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with (general manager) Marty Hurney and have a great conversation regarding my future with the organization. The team and I are both on the same page that it is best we go in different directions for now. On the field, I will always cherish the nine seasons we shared together. The wins, the losses, standing at midfield holding the Halas Trophy as NFC champs. The reality of going to the Super Bowl was beyond words, as was the disappointment of falling short.

"Off the field is where my family felt the warmest embrace. In 2012, upon the news breaking regarding the challenges our son would face, the entire Carolina community wrapped their arms around us in support. My wife Kara and I will be forever grateful for the love and prayers shared with us since that time.

"Regardless of what path we choose, I will always be a Carolina Panther."

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported the University of Miami product has "options" in football and on the broadcast side of the game depending on which path he chooses. Rapoport also noted Olsen's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said, "Greg is still interested in playing and I will be in communication with other teams after the Super Bowl."

The Panthers acquired Olsen from the Chicago Bears via trade prior to the 2011 season, and he developed into the best tight end in franchise history.

Carolina's announcement noted he is the team's all-time leading tight end in catches (524), receiving yards (6,463) and 100-yard receiving games (10), as well as second in touchdown catches (39). He was also a two-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year finalist for his work off the field.

Olsen made three straight Pro Bowls from 2014 through 2016, helping lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015.

While he played a combined 16 games in 2017 and 2018 because of foot injuries, he bounced back in 2019 with 52 catches for 597 yards and two touchdowns. His prime is surely behind him with his 35th birthday approaching in March, but his showing last season proved he can still be effective in a supporting role.

He now has the chance to decide between continuing his career elsewhere or joining former players such as Tony Romo on the television side.

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