The Panthers announced today that they have mutually agreed to part ways with tight end Greg 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," Olsen said. "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."
The veteran of 13 seasons ranks fifth all-time
among tight ends in both catches, with 718, and yards, with 8,444.
The 34-year-old stands as the franchise's all-time leading tight end in terms of receiving yards (6,463), receptions (524) and 100-yard receiving games (10). He ranks second among franchise tight ends in receiving touchdowns (39) behind Wesley Walls (44) and third all-time in receiving yards and receptions behind Steve Smith
and Muhsin Muhammad
After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Bears, the team that selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft, Olsen was traded to Carolina for a third-round pick ahead of the 2011 season.
He spent the next nine seasons with the Panthers, playing in every game from 2011-16 and emerging as a go-to target for quarterback Cam Newton
. He became a leader in the locker room and earned the fitting nickname "Mr. Reliable" after coming through in the clutch time and time again.
During that span he also became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (2014-16) and he was voted to three Pro Bowls.
Olsen, who missed just two games during the first 10 years of his career, dealt with foot injuries in 2017 and 2018. But he looked more like his old self again in 2019, playing in 14 games and posting 52 receptions for 597 yards and two touchdowns.
For what it's worth, the Athletic’s Richard Deitsch reports “Fox Sports execs have made it clear: If Olsen is interested in becoming a broadcaster next year, they will absolutely offer him an analyst job.”
Olsen and Fox Sports have some history. In 2019, he was a color commentator for the Week 7 Cardinals-Giants game that fell during the Panthers’ bye week.
Olsen had done that before, back in 2017, when he worked a Fox game between the Vikings and Rams.
However, agent Drew Rosenhaus said his client “is still interested in playing and I will be in communication with other teams after the Super Bowl.”