Greg Olsen

NFC West Rumors: Drake, Olsen, Rams

This running back market could feature Derrick Henry and Melvin Gordon, but given how most of the high-end running back contracts of recent years have not helped teams, the prices for the free agent backs might be team-friendly.

Nevertheless, Kenyan Drake is hoping to parlay his Cardinals work into a lucrative deal. The former Dolphins starter-turned-trade chip is expected to target $8-$10MM per year, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. That would come in south of the Ezekiel ElliottTodd GurleyLe’Veon BellDavid Johnson top tier but north of the rest of the field. Drake is a candidate to stay in Arizona, however, despite Johnson’s presence.

The Cardinals want to re-sign their recent trade acquisition, and the prospect of a franchise tag has surfaced. That $10MM-plus figure entering the equation would be a serious boon for Drake’s value.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • ESPN’s Brady Henderson has details on Greg Olsen‘s one-year, $7MM deal with the Seahawks (Twitter link). The veteran tight end will earn a $3.75MM signing bonus with a $1.75MM base salary, leading to $5.5MM in guaranteed money. Olsen also has an extra $1.5MM in per-game roster bonuses.
  • The Rams will be without offensive guard Joseph Noteboom and center Brian Allen until the start of training camp, according to Rich Hammond of The Athletic. The fact that the team won’t have a pair of starters for much of the offseason program could influence the front office’s decision to retain impending free agent Austin Blythe and potential trade candidate Rob Havenstein.
  • We learned earlier today that despite having around only $13MM in cap space, the 49ers are motivated to keep Arik Armstead in the fold.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Cam, Robinson, Slay, Olsen

We’ve got more details on Greg Robinson‘s recent arrest. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero passes along (via Twitter) that the offensive lineman was busted with approximately 157 pounds of marijuana.

Robinson was arrested alongside former NFL wideout Quan Bray, who served as a return man for the Colts between 2015 and 2017. If the duo is convicted of possession with intent to distribute, they could each face up to 20 years in federal prison. The two were traveling with a third passenger, who was not arrested (although Robinson reportedly tried to bribe the passenger to take the fall).

The soon-to-be-free agent re-signed with the Browns on a one-year, $7MM deal before the 2019 season. Robinson struggled throughout the campaign, and he temporarily lost his starting gig. We learned earlier today that Cleveland won’t be pursuing another contract with the former second-overall pick.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Teams will be allowed to do their research on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton before committing to a trade. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that a team can give a physical to a potential trade acquisition (with the permission of the incumbent team). Considering the former MVP has suffered a long list of injuries throughout his career, this will be an important hurdle to overcome during negotiations (especially, as Florio notes, if Newton is looking for a brand-new contract).
  • A league executive believes it’d take a second- or third-rounder to pry cornerback Darius Slay from the Lions (via Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post on Twitter). Of course, that same executive believes the three-time Pro Bowler will also command a contract that’s worth at least $15MM per season. We recently heard that teams have inquired on Slay, and the cornerback may be looking for a fresh start.
  • Whenever Greg Olsen retires, it sounds like he won’t struggle to find a new job. The veteran tight end had discussions with multiple networks regarding a “high-profile” television gig, reports Joe Person of The Athletic (via Twitter). Ultimately, the 13-year veteran decided to sign a one-year, $7MM deal with the Seahawks.
  • Nate Ebner has spent his entire career with the Patriots, and the special teams ace (and impending free agent) would like to stick with New England. “That would be the best thing, I think, when you consider my entire career has been here,” Ebner told reporters (via NESN’s Zack Cox on Twitter). “I’ve got some true friendships here. … But right now it’s out of my hands, so we’ll see what happens.” The former sixth-rounder has won three Super Bowls during his eight years in New England, and he also earned a second team All-Pro nod in 2016.

Seahawks Sign TE Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen‘s first free agency tour will produce a deal with the Seahawks. The veteran tight end will choose Seattle over Buffalo and Washington, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

The 13-year veteran agreed to a one-year, $7MM deal with the Seahawks, per Schefter, who adds this pact comes with $5.5MM guaranteed. The chance to play with Russell Wilson helped make Seattle a more attractive destination than those with ex-Panthers staffers in place, per Schefter (on Twitter).

Wilson has gone through a few tight ends since Jimmy Graham‘s departure. Ed Dickson experienced consistent injury troubles over the past two years; so has promising youngster Will Dissly. Olsen will add a proven weapon to Seattle’s pass-catching corps, coming in for his age-35 season.

The Seahawks last season were down both Dickson and Dissly, and they traded Nick Vannett to the Steelers early in the season. Jacob Hollister started both playoff games. Barring injury, Olsen will be in line to join Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf as one of Wilson’s top three targets next season. The Seahawks will be Olsen’s third team, following the Bears and Panthers.

In nine Carolina seasons, Olsen became one of the best players in franchise history. He eclipsed 1,000 yards en route to three Pro Bowls from 2014-16 and helped the Panthers to a 15-1 season that produced an NFC championship. Since coming into the league as a first-round pick out of Miami in 2007, Olsen has 8,444 receiving yards — third-most in the NFL among tight ends in that span.

Olsen, however, experienced significant foot trouble late in his Panthers tenure. Although Olsen played 14 games last season, he missed 16 games between the 2017-18 campaigns because of multiple foot maladies. This marks another injury-prone tight end on Seattle’s roster. The potentially rebuilding Panthers released Olsen, who had one more season left on his Carolina contract, earlier this month.

This will put Ron Rivera‘s Redskins in the market for another tight end and may move Sean McDermott‘s Bills to pursue one as well. FOX will need to delay plans to hire Olsen for one of its Sunday broadcast teams as well. The network has used Olsen for multiple broadcasts late in his career and made him an offer to join full-time this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen‘s free agency tour has come to an end after three stops, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The tight end is currently in negotiations with the Bills, Redskins, and Seahawks, and he will not be meeting with any other teams. 

The Panthers parted ways with Olsen earlier this offseason in yet another signal that they are prepared for a total rebuild. This, of course, came weeks after the dismissal of longtime head coach Ron Rivera. Soon, the Panthers’ revamp may result in the release of one-time MVP quarterback Cam Newton.

Back to Olsen – the veteran has rebuffed numerous offers from multiple networks who are hoping to lure him into the broadcast booth. Instead, he’s intent on playing at least one more season in the NFL with an eye on contending for a championship. If winning is Olsen’s priority, one has to think that the Seahawks would be at the top of his wishlist.

The Bills and Redskins also hold appeal for Olsen, who will turn 35 in March. In Buffalo, Olsen could be a key part of the offense and siphon snaps from youngster Dawson Knox. With the Redskins, Olsen would get to rejoin longtime mentor Ron Rivera. Depending on how things shake out in D.C., it could even be a full-fledged reunion. The Redskins cut Josh Norman on Friday, but they could fill their void at cornerback by pivoting to James Bradberry, who spent the last four years in Carolina.

At this stage, Olsen is no longer a top-flight tight end. However, he was still reasonably productive last season and it’s clear that he still has some gas in the tank and fire in his belly. For his career, Olsen has notched 718 catches, 8,444 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Greg Olsen Expected To Sign With NFL Team This Week

Greg Olsen is almost ready to make his free agent decision. By the end of the week, the tight end expects to choose his next NFL squad, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. 

Olsen kicked off his free agent tour by meeting with the Bills last week. Today, he’ll huddle up with the Redskins before moving on to the Seahawks on Wednesday.

It has been said that Olsen is also weighing a jump to broadcasting, but from the sound of it, the tight end will be staving off retirement for another offseason. Olsen has garnered lucrative offers from both ESPN and FOX over the years, so it stands to reason that those opportunities will be there waiting for him, whenever he’s ready to hang ’em up.

The Seahawks would probably represent Olsen’s best chance to win a Super Bowl ring, but the Bills and Redskins also have a lot to offer. With the Bills, Olsen would have an opportunity to pair with the young and promising Josh Allen and occupy a significant role in the offense. The Redskins, meanwhile, would allow him to reunite with Ron Rivera, the longtime Panthers coach that guided him to a streak of three 1,000-yard seasons and multiple Pro Bowl appearances.

Olsen, 35 in March, has notched 718 catches for 8,444 yards and 59 touchdowns over the course of his career. Last year, he had an uncharacteristically quiet season with the Panthers – 52 grabs, 597 yards, and just two touchdowns in 14 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Visit Up Next For Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen finished up his Bills visit on Thursday morning, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Olsen, who isn’t in any particular rush to sign, left without a deal. His next visit will be with the Redskins, followed by the Seahawks. 

The order of Olsen’s three visits may or may not be an indicator of his preference. The Bills would make some sense for Olsen – they’re not high on anyone’s list of Super Bowl contenders for 2020, but they do have a talented young quarterback in Josh Allen and Olsen could provide him with a better security blanket than rising NFL sophomore Dawson Knox.

Ditto for the Redskins – expectations aren’t high in D.C., but they would give Olsen an opportunity to reunite with old friend Ron Rivera. Of course, the two were together for years in Carolina, where Olsen went on a tear of three straight 1,000-yard seasons. No one knows what’s in store for Jordan Reed after a scary number of concussions; Olsen can help them fortify that position and possibly take over as the TE1, if needed.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, are in a better position to win right away. And, with serious uncertainty around their tight end situation, Olsen would be a logical fit. Will Dissly might not be 100% after his Achilles tear and Ed Dickson could be a cap casualty in the coming weeks. Beyond those two, Luke Willson is scheduled for free agency in March and Jacob Hollister will be a restricted free agent.

There will probably be more teams beyond those three with interest in Olsen. Earlier this week, Olsen said that he’d like to hear from the Bears – his first NFL team – but hasn’t been in touch with them since his release from the Panthers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Greg Olsen Hopes To Hear From Bears

Greg Olsen has drawn tons of interest on the open market, but there’s one call that he’s still waiting for. In an interview with ESPN 1000 (Twitter link), Olsen said that he would like to hear from the Bears.

[RELATED: Seahawks, Bills, Redskins Interested In Greg Olsen]

I’ll be honest. In my heart I was hoping they would have been one of the first calls,” the tight end said when asked about the Bears. “To my knowledge we have not heard from them. Whether or not they do or not is hard to say.”

Olsen started his career in Chicago as the No. 31 overall pick in the 2007 draft and played four seasons for the Bears. The University of Miami product started paying dividends immediately and went on to average roughly 49 catches, 495 yards, and five touchdowns across four seasons with the club. Then, in the summer of 2011, the Bears shipped him to the Panthers for a third-round pick.

A reunion would make sense, and not just for nostalgia reasons. Last year, Bears tight ends Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, and Ben Braunecker all finished the season on injured reserve. Olsen would make lots of sense for Chicago, but, so far, they’ve yet to show interest.

Meanwhile, plenty of other clubs would love to have Olsen. Since his release from the Panthers, Olsen has booked visits with the Seahawks, Bills, and Redskins. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network says Olsen will take his time with his decision and is not expected to sign quickly (video link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Brown, Olsen, Lewis, Colts

Marvin Lewis is back in the coaching ranks. Doug Haller of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the former Bengals head coach has been named co-defensive coordinator at Arizona State.

Former defensive coordinator Tony White left for a new gig at Syracuse, providing an opening for Lewis. He’ll coach alongside fellow co-defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce.

After being fired by the Bengals following the 2018 season, Lewis joined his buddies Ray Anderson and Herm Edwards at ASU. He served last season as a special advisor, and the 61-year-old had said he didn’t intend to coach again. Despite his declaration, Lewis met with the Cowboys about their head coaching vacancy back in January.

While Lewis didn’t help the Bengals achieve any playoff success (0-7 in seven appearances) during his 16 years in Cincy, he did finish his tenure with a 131-122 record. Those 131 victories are the most all-time among Bengals coaches, while his seven playoff losses without a win is an NFL record.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • When Greg Olsen was released by the Panthers, it was described as a mutual parting. However, the veteran tight end said he would have been open to returning to Carolina in 2020. “I told them all along that if they wanted me back…obviously I would have been back,” the veteran said (via WFNZ-AM/FM on Twitter). “The ‘mutual parting’ might have been a little overblown. The reality was…they weren’t going to bring me back…I understood it but I didn’t force my way out of here.”
  • We learned this past weekend that former Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh was joining the Colts coaching staff. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the 48-year-old will be Indy’s new wide receivers coach. Groh was a natural fit for the Colts, as he actually replaced current Colts head coach (and former Philly offensive coordinator). Frank Reich in 2018. Kevin Patullo, who previously held the role of wide receivers coach, will remain on the staff in a different role.
  • Marquise Brown had a standout rookie campaign for the Ravens, but ‘Hollywood’ was battling an injury throughout the season. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley writes that the first-rounder never fully healed from a foot injury suffered earlier in the year. Despite the ailment, Brown still finished the season having hauled in 46 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns, leading quarterback Lamar Jackson to compare him to one of the NFL’s top receivers. “Even though he was hurt with his foot, he still felt like he should be Julio (Jones) already,” Jackson said. “I told him, ‘Bro, you’re good. Your foot not already 100 and you’re making plays.’ This year, he’s going to be dangerous.”

Greg Olsen To Visit Seahawks

Greg Olsen will visit the Seahawks as a part of his free agency tour, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. As previously reported, Olsen will also be checking in with the Bills and Redskins as he weighs his options. 

[RELATED: Greg Olsen To Visit Redskins, Bills]

Olsen, 35 in March, parted ways with the Panthers earlier this winter. The veteran wasn’t interested in being a part of a rebuild and the Panthers elected to cut him loose in order to save $8.1MM against the cap.

Olsen might not be quite as effective as he was during his prime years, but he still profiles as a productive vet who could be of use in Seattle. The Seahawks aren’t quite sure what they’ll have in Will Dissly, who is coming off of a torn Achilles tendon. Meanwhile, Ed Dickson could be released in a cost-cutting move, Luke Willson is headed towards the open market, and Jacob Hollister will be an RFA.

Olsen caught 52 passes for 597 yards and two touchdowns in 2019, showing that he can still play at his advanced age. He was also healthy, for the most part – he appeared in 14 games after missing a combined 16 contests between 2017 and 2018.

Before the injuries, Olsen was one of the league’s most consistent and reliable tight ends. Olsen topped 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons and was a no-brainer choice for the Pro Bowl in each of those campaigns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Greg Olsen To Visit Bills, Redskins

That didn’t take long. Hours after Greg Olsen‘s release from the Panthers was made official, his free agency tour is taking shape. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the veteran tight end will take visits with the Bills and Redskins this week (Twitter link).

Though it doesn’t guarantee anything, this development makes it sound as if Olsen will play in 2020 and will postpone his journey to the broadcast booth for at least another year. If he were to sign with Washington, Olsen would reunite with longtime Carolina head coach Ron Rivera, and recent rumors suggested that Olsen is indeed amenable to joining the ‘Skins.

Fresh off their second playoff appearance in three years, the Bills would appear to give Olsen a better chance at bringing home a championship ring in 2020. But both Buffalo and Washington are obvious fits for the 34-year-old (35 in March), as neither club got much production from the tight end position in 2019.

The Bills were paced by rookie Dawson Knox, who averaged just under 26 yards per game. Rookie tight ends rarely excel, and while the Bills surely expect Knox to take a step forward in 2020, Olsen would represent a reliable veteran target for QB Josh Allen.

The Redskins, meanwhile, lost Jordan Reed for the 2019 season due to yet another concussion, and they have a young quarterback of their own in Dwayne Haskins who would benefit from Olsen’s presence. But Olsen will likely generate more interest from other clubs before he decides to put pen to paper.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.