Greg Olsen has been making his way around the NFL since he became a free agent a couple of weeks ago. The Seattle Seahawks announced on Tuesday that they and Olsen have agreed to terms on a contract.
The deal is worth $7 million over one year and includes $5.5 million in guaranteed money, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Olsen and the Carolina Panthers mutually agreed to part ways at the end of January following his ninth season with the Panthers. Olsen made his way around the NFL visiting the Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, and Seattle Seahawks. Before the news broke Tuesday there weren't any reports on a front runner in the Olsen sweepstakes.
$7 million is a lot of money for an old tight end, and the Seahawks have just rocked the whole tight end market. With no really exciting prospects coming out of the 2020 NFL draft, free agents like Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry, and Tyler Eifert should be sending Olsen bottles of wine for driving up the market. All three guys are younger and more talented than Olsen is right now. Eifert who was probably sitting around the $7 million mark, will probably demand about $8 - 8.5 million. While Hooper and Henry who were expected to be big ticket players this year, could command anything north of $10 million per season. That's going to have teams digging a little deeper into their pockets to secure an established tight end.
There were people questioning why the New England Patriots who are desperate for a tight end didn't pursue Olsen. His new contract explains it all. That's a lot of money for a guy who hasn't been in his prime in three years.
Olsen made 14 appearances for Carolina in 2019, racking 52 receptions for 597 yards and two touchdowns. He was derailed by foot injuries the previous two seasons, ending his run of three straight 1,000-yard campaigns from 2014-16.
Olsen gives the Seahawks a viable starter in the event Will Dissly, who's recovering from a torn Achilles, isn't ready for the beginning of the 2020 season. If Dissly is able to go, then Olsen will probably slip down to the TE2 spot. Russell Wilson desperately needs people to throw the ball to, and obviously the Seahawks believe Olsen could be one of those guys. The Seahawks signed Josh Gordon after he was released by the Patriots, and things were working well until Gordon was suspended again. Wilson also needs better protection, and Olsen could provide Wilson some reprieve when he's blocking.
Olsen, who began his career with the Chicago Bears in 2007, will turn 35 in March. He contemplated retiring to commence a career in broadcasting before solidifying his NFL return with Seattle.
The Seahawks made a big investment, and only time will tell if it pays off.