Following the parting of ways with head coach Ron Rivera and then the shock retirement of Luke Kuechly, the Carolina Panthers made it clear that they are in rebuild mode by officially announcing that they will be moving on without Greg Olsen too, after nine years with the tight end.

Olsen will be 35 years old by the time the new season starts and has missed 18 games over the course of the last three seasons, suffering recurring foot injuries that have restricted his playing time badly. Prior to those injury hit years, Olsen had managed 9 consecutive seasons of 16 starts, in which time he achieved three Pro Bowl selections and two second team All Pro nods too. His ability is unquestioned, but doubts will linger over his durability at this stage in his career. 2019 was somewhat of a bounce back year for him though as he made 14 starts, hauling in 52 catches for 597 yards. Those numbers, along with 11.5 yards per catch, will still make Olsen an intriguing option for a number of teams. Let’s take a look at some of his potential suitors.

Washington Redskins

ESPNs Adam Schefter has reported that Olsen will meet with the Skins this week and after the retirement of Vernon Davis coupled with the ongoing doubts about Jordan Reeds future, there is a clear need at the tight end position in DC.

Olsen enjoyed the best years of his career with Ron Rivera in Carolina and would go straight in as the de facto starter in the nation’s capital. By signing Olsen, the Redskins could afford to draft a TE in the mid rounds and ask Olsen to act as a mentor. A safe pair of hands in the middle of the field could prove incredibly valuable to Dwayne Haskins too, whose rawness was exposed in his first year with the struggling Skins. They could also clear $8.5 million in cap space by cutting Reed, freeing up money to be spent elsewhere whilst adding a cheaper option in Olsen.

Buffalo Bills

Schefter, along with NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport, has reported that Olsen is also set to visit with the Bills this week.

    

The Bills incumbent tight end is Dawson Knox, who showed flashes of exciting talent in a rookie year that garnered 388 yards receiving. He could benefit immensely having time to learn from the experienced Olsen. The Bills could be more enticing to Olsen too, as they are clearly a better team than Washington and also have a coach in Sean McDermott that Olsen knows well from his time in Carolina.

Olsen had his most productive years with Cam Newton as his QB, could he roll back the years with a similar style signal caller in Josh Allen?

New England Patriots

After the retirement of Rob Gronkowski a year ago, the Patriots got next to no production from the tight end position in 2019.

Bill Belichick loves veteran guys like Olsen and could use him to mentor young draftees the same way he used Alge Crumpler to help speed up the development of Gronk many years ago. If Tom Brady returns to Foxborough the opportunity to work with the legendary quarterback may be too good to pass up for Olsen, who would love the opportunity to compete for a ring.

Chicago Bears

The Bears tight end group had a terrible year in 2019, highlighted by the injury problems suffered by Trey Burton. Burton suffered a torn labrum and surgery means he will miss offseason training, so doubts remain about his status for 2020.

    

Olsen produced better numbers by himself than the whole Bears TE group combined in 2019 and represents a sure handed and cost effective safety net for Mitchell Trubisky if they were to sign him. The Bears have a huge leadership void in their locker room after the retirement of Kyle Long and the signing of Olsen could go a long way to fill that hole.

Olsen has enjoyed strong reviews after a number of stints in the booth whilst injured, but he posted on Twitter this week “I still have the love of football in my heart”. He remains a quality pair of hands in the middle of the field and can also boast a wealth of experience in the game. These factors will undoubtedly make him an attractive option for a number of teams looking to bolster their ranks for the 2020 season.

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