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Greg Olsen: Signing With Seahawks “Was Just Too Good Of An Opportunity To Pass Up”
Tight end Greg Olsen discussed his decision to join the Seahawks after signing his contract Monday morning.
By John Boyle Feb 24, 2020

When the Carolina Panthers released Greg Olsen a day after the Super Bowl, the veteran tight end knew he'd have options as a free agent.

And the more the three-time Pro-Bowler thought about what he was looking for, the more the Seahawks made sense to Olsen. On Monday, Olsen and the Seahawks made it official, with Olsen signing his contract after agreeing to terms on the deal last week. After arriving in Seattle and signing with Seattle, Olsen explained why it was in a lot of ways an easy choice. From a winning head coach to an elite quarterback to one of the NFL's best fanbases, Olsen knew Seattle was a good fit on a lot of levels.   

"It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up," Olsen said. "Their track record of success, consistency of winning. I've played in this city many times, and just the fanbase, the excitement, that stadium is one of the more unique venues in all of sports. And obviously Coach (Pete) Carroll, playing with somebody like Russell (Wilson), it just checks so many boxes I was looking for, and I'm confident I can just come in and do my part and help try to put (us) over the edge."

As Olsen was weighing his options in free agency, one thing he heard from a lot of people, including Wilson, was a high opinion of how the Seahawks operate as an organization.

Everybody I talked to said the same thing—it’s a special place, they do things the right way, they treat people the right way. Greg Olsen

"Just the entire organization has been so first class, and that's everything," Olsen said. "When I did my research, everybody I talked to said the same thing—it's a special place, they do things the right way, they treat people the right way. And in my couple of days out here visiting with everybody, I kind of saw with my own eyes what everyone was talking about."

At 34, Olsen has already established himself as one of the best tight ends of his era. Olsen's 718 catches and 8,444 receiving yards both rank fifth all time among tight ends behind only Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates and Shannon Sharpe. So when it came to picking a team, finding a winner was more important than adding to his individual legacy. And in Seattle, a team that has been to the playoffs eight times in 10 seasons under Carroll and general manager John Schneider, Olsen knows he'll have a good chance at playing for a championship in 2020.

Olsen Ranks Fifth All Time Among TE In Catches And Yards

Trails only Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates & Shannon Sharpe

"It's huge," Olsen said of finding a team that gives him a chance to win. "It's huge. As I've said, they checked so many boxes. At this point in my career, what I'm looking for is things I've always valued in my career: consistency, doing things the right way, everybody being all in. This entire organization has really represented that for the last decade. To have an opportunity to be a part of that was really appealing. I'm really excited to get out here and join everybody in April for OTAs and learn a new team and learn a new city and learning a new coaching staff. There's something exciting about that at this stage in my career. That newness is exciting and energizing for me."

And while Olsen, who is from the east coast and who played professionally in Chicago and Carolina, has never lived this far west, CenturyLink Field won't exactly be a foreign environment for him. In his 13-year career, Olsen has faced the Seahawks 12 times, postseason included, including five games at CenturyLink Field.

"It's tough," Olsen said of being a visitor at CenturyLink Field. "They make it hard on the opposing team. I saw it for a long time firsthand. I've played a lot of games in that stadium. It's going to be nice for the first time getting in the huddle and being able to hear, being able to operate without hand signals and non-verbal communication. They make it so difficult to talk and communicate. So it's going to be nice to not have them yelling at me, not cursing me out, not screaming that I suck—well, hopefully they don't. Hopefully I give them a reason to cheer for me instead of against me."

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