Panthers tight end Greg Olsen had plenty of family members on hand yesterday, and the team recognized his career accomplishments on the scoreboard in the waning moments of another bad loss.
If it wasn’t goodbye, it sure looked like one.
“I just think sometimes the writing’s on the wall,” Olsen said, via Joe Person of TheAthletic.com. “There hasn’t been anything officially. But I wanted to make sure if that was my last time that I made sure I told the people that I needed to how much they meant on my career, and how much I enjoyed playing with these guys and playing [for] these coaches.”
Olsen has played 13 years in the league, and may want a 14th before he settles into a broadcast booth. But he’s unlikely to do it in Charlotte, where the team can clear $8.1 million in cap room by cutting or trading him.
After they lost eight straight to finish the season 5-11, it’s hard to find silver linings, but Olsen did.
“Obviously, the game was a disaster. But I really just told myself coming in, just try to appreciate it as much of it as you can,” Olsen said. “Enjoy the pregame with the kids. Enjoy being with the guys, if it is the last time. Enjoy the ride over here with the guys in the car. Those little traditions that we’ve established over the years, just enjoy them because you never know when that ends. I don’t know if that is the end now. But if it is, I know I went out the way I wanted to.”
He had a brilliant run there, becoming the first tight end in league history with three straight 1,000-yard seasons before injuries derailed him. He still probably has some football left in him, but doesn’t seem interested in a rebuilding project, such as the one that could be coming in Charlotte if they trade quarterback Cam Newton.