The Panthers have reached an agreement with tight end Greg Olsen on a new contract extension that will keep Olsen under team control through the 2018 season, the club announced today in a press release. Olsen had been scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency a year from now.
“It’s really a dream come true,” Olsen said in a statement. “Since we’ve come to Charlotte, we very quickly realized that this is home. This community quickly embraced our family, so we put down roots here. We love it here. This is home for us. Now to have this contract that guarantees that I’ll play the rest of my career in Charlotte is a tremendous blessing. We’re just so thankful for the team believing in me and wanting me to still be a part of this. As a team, we have a lot of special times ahead of us.”
Olsen, who turns 30 next Wednesday, has been a consistent and durable part of the Panthers’ passing game since joining the team in 2011. He has increased his catch total in each of his four seasons with the team, grabbing 45 balls in 2011, followed by seasons of 69, 73, and 84 receptions. Those 84 catches this past year were a career high, to go along with his first 1,000-yard season.
On the heels of that career year, the Panthers have rewarded Olsen with a raise. The veteran tight end had been slated to earn a base salary of $5.25MM for 2015, and that part of the contract may remain intact. However, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (via Twitter), the three new years on the deal are worth $22.5MM, and the agreement includes an impressive $12MM signing bonus.