The Seahawks are adding one of the NFL's most accomplished tight ends for the 2020 season, agreeing to terms on a deal with 13-year veteran Greg Olsen.
A three-time Pro-Bowler, Olsen was released earlier this offseason by Carolina after spending nine seasons with the Panthers. Olsen spent his first four seasons with the Chicago Bears, who selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft, before being traded to Carolina, where he went on to become one of the most prolific pass-catching tight ends in the league.
While the new league year and free agency don't start until March, Olsen is free to sign with any team immediately, having been released by the Panthers a day after the Super Bowl.
Olsen, 34, caught 52 passes for 597 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games last season. He ranks fifth all time among tight ends in catches (718) and receiving yards (8,444), trailing only Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates and Shannon Sharpe in both categories. Olsen also ranks ninth in career touchdowns among tight ends with 59. From 2014-2016, Olsen became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors all three years.
In addition to being a highly productive player on the field, Olsen was involved in the community as well, twice being named his team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
"Greg's meant so much to this organization and we have a tremendous amount of respect for him," Panther general manager Marty Hurney said via panthers.com. "He earned a reputation as one of the best tight ends in the League and served as a great leader and team captain. As special as he was for us on the field, his impact on the community is just as impressive. We are proud that he wore a Panthers uniform."
Olsen will provide talent and depth for the Seahawks at a position that was hit hard by injuries in 2019. Starting tight end Will Dissly's promising start to his second season was derailed by an Achilles injury, his second season-ending injury in as many years, while veteran Ed Dickson missed the entire year due to injury. Luke Willson, who was signed following the trade of Nick Vannett to Pittsburgh, missed five games due to injury, making Jacob Hollister the team's leading tight end in catches, receiving yards and games played despite spending the first five games of the season on the practice squad.