Panthers: Is Greg Olsen at a career crossroads?
As Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen enters the final year of his contract, one has to wonder if his career is at a (hopefully) momentary crossroads…
If there was any doubt as to whether Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen would retire over the next couple seasons, those doubts were reignited Tuesday. While he stressed he would love to continue playing for the Panthers, he admitted that if the Panthers did not offer him an extension, he would not play anywhere else.
"“My preference would be to continue to play,” Olsen told ESPN.com as the Panthers completed the second day of offseason workouts. “I still love playing for the Panthers and I would prefer to finish my career at Carolina. I wouldn’t see myself love to go play elsewhere."
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"“But this is the last year of my contract. A lot of that plays into what the future holds. Where we are in all of that, I’m not really sure. As the offseason plays out, it would be nice to kind of know what my future is past this year here in Carolina. That would make a lot of the other decisions easier.”"
As many of you know, he tried out for an ESPN television gig in March. As Olsen told ESPN, he would be open to considering an offer from the network should they make him one.
In terms of an extension for Olsen, the Carolina Panthers would be wise to give him one. He has been dependable since he became a Panther. In seven years, he has appeared in 103 games, starting 100 of them. Notching 718 receptions for 5,575 yards and 33 touchdowns, he has been a mainstay within the Carolina Panthers offense over the years.
2017 was really the first year where injuries caught up to him. He missed nine games last season with a broken foot. For Olsen, the nine games missed was the first time since he was with the Bears in 2007 that he missed a game. Even rarer, it was also the first time since 2011 that he missed a start with the Panthers.
The bottom line is Greg Olsen is reliable and it would be silly of the Carolina Panthers to not at least offer him a contract extension. He is one of Cam Newton‘s favorite targets and although he may not always put up the flashy numbers, consistency and dependability have been hallmarks of Olsen’s game. Those two traits themselves are extension-worthy.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out, particularly if it extends into the regular season. My guess is that no matter how this state of affairs plays out, it will be resolved either before or during training camp. I doubt the Carolina Panthers and Greg Olsen want to have the lack of an extension looming over their heads during the regular season.
Next: Panthers Pre-Draft Position by Position Analysis: Offense
Greg Olsen and the Carolina Panthers are at a crossroads and it needs to be figured out. Soon.