Greg Olsen's nine years with the Carolina Panthers have come to an end. The long-time Panthers tight end and the team have mutually agreed to part ways, according to reports.
After 13 years in the NFL, Olsen has said he's still interested in playing despite heavy speculation that a broadcasting career could be just around the corner. The three-time Pro Bowl selection will now look ahead to what's next.
"At this time, I have not closed the door on any potential career options," Olsen said via social media. "I still have the love of football in my heart and will explore all opportunities presented to me."
According to Olsen's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, the 34-year-old will be in communication with NFL teams after this Sunday's Super Bowl.
After speaking with general manager Marty Hurney, the two parties came to the conclusion that Olsen would no longer remain with the team that's going in a different direction under first-year head coach Matt Rhule.
After ruling out any contract extension to modify his salary, Olsen was set to hold a cap number of $11,675,000 in the 2020 season.
Now, Olsen joins the likes of Luke Kuechly as notable departures for the Carolina franchise this offseason.
What Olsen Could Bring To His Next Team
Throughout his career, Olsen has proven that he has all the tools to be a premier tight end in this league. From 2014 to 2016, he became the first player at his position to register three straight seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards.
In Carolina, Olsen holds the records for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season with 1,104 in 2015 and for the most catches by a tight end in a single season with 84 in 2014.
For his career, Olsen has 718 catches, 8,444 yards, and 78 touchdowns. Last season, Olsen reeled in 52 balls for 597 yards and two touchdowns.
In addition to his on-field production, Olsen has also been a leader for the Panthers since being acquired via trade in 2011. With his NFL experience and knowledge, Olsen would be a great fit for a Super Bowl contender in 2020.
The only concern for a player like Olsen is injuries. Between both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Olsen missed 16 games with a foot injury.
We'll have to wait and see just how interested NFL teams are in Olsen until after the Super Bowl.
The Importance Of A Tight End
The two teams competing in this year's Super Bowl are very different. The Chiefs are a high-octane offense led by one of the game's best quarterbacks. The 49ers are led by a dominant defense and like to batter teams with the running game.
Yet both conference champions have one thing in common: a great tight end.
For Kansas City, tight end Travis Kelce is one of Patrick Mahomes' greatest weapons. This season, Kelce caught a team-high 97 passes for a team-high 1,229 yards and five touchdowns.
For San Francisco, tight end George Kittle is the heart and soul of the team while making big-time plays in both the passing and running games. This season, Kittle caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five receiving TDs, all of which are team highs.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, the over/under for both Kelce and Kittle is set at 74.5 yards. Kelce and Kittle are also two of the most likely players to score this Sunday, as their odds of +100 for Kelce and +130 for Kittle trail only two to three players in the entire game.
NFL teams on the precipice of Super Bowl contention will be taking notice of the fact that both Super Bowl teams are powered by great tight end play. So, as Olsen looks to join a new team, expect plenty of attention to be focused on the former Panther in free agency.