The Carolina Panthers and tight end Greg Olsen have mutually agreed to “part ways.”
The team announced the news on its web site Thursday afternoon.
“Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with [general manager] Marty Hurney and have a great conversation regarding my future with the organization.” Olsen said, per the statement. “The team and I are both on the same page that it is best we go in different directions for now.”
‘I have not closed the door’
Olsen also acknowledged the news on his Twitter account with a statement that noted he’s keeping all options open for the future.
“At this time I have not closed the door on any potential career options,” Olsen wrote. “I still have the love of football in my heart and will explore all opportunities presented to me.”
Olsen, 34, has played 13 seasons in the NFL, the last nine with the Panthers. He was a three-time Pro Bowler in Carolina. Injuries have slowed him in recent seasons, adding to speculation that this may be his last in the NFL.
He is widely believed to have a future in NFL broadcasting when he’s ready to move on.
The Athletic’s Richard Dietsch reports that Fox has guaranteed Olsen an analyst position next year if he’s interested.
But he hasn’t made that decision yet, and sounds open to continuing in the NFL as a player.
Not interested in a rebuild
The Athletic’s Joe Person reports that Olsen told the Panthers he did not want to participate in a rebuild with Carolina. Carolina is undergoing significant change under second-year owner David Tepper, who fired longtime head coach Ron Rivera and hired Baylor coach Matt Rhule to take his place.
Cam Newton’s future with the team is unclear as the 30-year-old quarterback is coming off a second-straight injury-shortened season and approaching the final year of his contract.
The Panthers could save significant cap room by releasing or trading Newton, a move that could correspond with drafting a quarterback such as Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 7 pick in April’s draft.
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