Veteran tight end Greg Olsen was a key player for Carolina Panthers for many years, but his time with the organization is up. The Panthers announced on Thursday that the team has parted ways with Olsen.
Olsen later said that the decision was made after a conversation he had with general manager Marty Hurney. The 34-year-old also added that he doesn’t intend to retire and will pursue new opportunities.
“The team and I are both on the same page that it is best we go in different directions for now,” said Olsen via the team’s official website. “On the field, I will always cherish the nine seasons we shared together. The wins, the losses, standing at midfield holding the Halas Trophy as NFC champs. The reality of going to the Super Bowl was beyond words, as was the disappointment of falling short.”
Olsen had one year left on his deal with Carolina and was set to account $11.6 million against the cap. Panthers reportedly offered him an extension that would bring that number down, but he rejected it.
Greg Olsen joined the Panthers in 2011 and quickly established himself as one of the team’s key players and leaders. He earned three Pro Bowl appearances and was Second-Team All-Pro two times during his stint with Carolina. However, Olsen’s production dropped in recent years as he struggled with injuries.
The departure of Olsen represents another big change for the Panthers’ organization. The team will enter 2020 with a new coach in Matt Rhule and revamped coaching staff, while All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly decided to retire at the end of the season. More changes could soon follow as the team’s quarterback situation seems unresolved in the wake of Cam Newton’s injury issues.