Greg Olsen’s position as one of the Panther’s most beloved and beneficial players is now in question.
According to 2 league sources, Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person has reported that Olsen is looking to negotiate a new contract with the Panthers (or possibly a different team) that would line up with his current ranking as one of the top tight ends in the league.
“In the ideal world, that’d be great,” commented Olsen. “I’m very confident on where I stand in the league and where I belong. Both productivity and all things considered, there’s nobody that’s been more productive or more consistent than I have. And I’ll stand on that until the cows come home.”
“You can make of that what you may, I feel comfortable with where I belong, and hopefully other people do, too,” Olsen added.
Although Olsen’s annual base salary ranks third among NFL tight ends behind Jimmy Graham and Jason Witten, his guaranteed $12 million on his 3-year 2015 extension contract gives him less money than 11 other tight ends—including Charles Clay, Zach Ertz, Kyle Rudolph, Coby Fleener, Jermaine Gresham, Dwayne Allen and Eric Ebron.
Considering Olsen has led all other tight ends in receiving yards (3,185) since 2014 and has racked up 16 touchdowns for the Panthers during that stretch, he should be the highest paid as well.
His contract is now set to expire after the 2018 season, and given the fact that he’s now 32 years old, it’s unlikely that many other teams would want to give him a top-tier salary guaranteed for several more years, but there are certainly teams out there that need his flexibility in both receiving and blocking who may be willing to take the risk.
If the Panthers decide to renegotiate his contract, they’d certainly be taking a gamble, but given Olsen’s recent track record, it doesn’t seem like too much of a gamble.
What are your thoughts?
How much do you think the Panthers should pay to keep Olsen?