According to multiple reports including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Panthers and Olsen have mutually agreed to part ways. But Olsen still wants to play and preferably for a Super Bowl contender.
After Greg Olsen and the Panthers mutually agreed to part ways today, agent Drew Rosenhaus said his TE client “is still interested in playing and I will be in communication with other teams after the Super Bowl.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 30, 2020
So naturally, this will bring up a big question in the minds of Patriots fans. Could the Patriots have an interest in the veteran tight end?
The Patriots are still severely lacking talent at the tight end position in the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s 2019 retirement. Last season, the team relied on the triumvirate of Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, and Ben Watson to carry the load at tight end. Altogether, they combined for just 36 catches, 418 yards, and three touchdowns on the season.
And that was easily the worst output the team had gotten from the tight end position over the course of the decade.
This offseason, the Patriots will likely be focused on upgrading the tight end spot. After all, they’re going to need to make some changes to their offense if they want to keep Tom Brady, who seems set to test the free-agent market for the first time in his career. So, they surely could consider Olsen.
Though Olsen is turning 35 in March, he should continue to be a productive receiving weapon at tight end. Last season, he outproduced the Patriots tight end group all by himself, totaling 52 catches for 597 yards and two touchdowns with the Panthers. Those numbers are even more impressive than they already look, as Carolina was playing Kyle Allen at quarterback in place of the injured Cam Newton for most of the season.
The only concern with Olsen would be his recent injury history. He struggled with a foot injury that limited him to just 16 games in 2017 and 2018 combined. That said, he did play a full complement of games last year and didn’t miss a game for nine seasons before suffering the ’17 foot injury.
Given the need the Patriots have at tight end, targeting Olsen could make sense. He may not be too expensive due to his age, yet shockingly enough, he would be four years younger than Watson, who played the most snaps at tight end for the Patriots last season. So clearly, that wouldn’t scare off New England.
One way or another, the Patriots will get help at tight end this offseason. Whether they target Olsen or another candidate, they are going to need to upgrade what is arguably their biggest offensive weakness.
Could Greg Olsen make sense for the New England Patriots? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston