Redskins set to host veteran TE Greg Olsen on a visit
By Ian Cummings
Free agents can’t formally sign with teams until early March, but the Redskins and other teams can host players and set up informal agreements in the coming weeks.
The Washington Redskins are getting off to an early start on that front, as they should. The team has a host of needs to fill, and with only seven draft picks and no second-rounder, free agency will be key in helping repair the Redskins squad.
Washington can afford supplementation both from a talent perspective and a culture perspective, and a player who can help with both is set to visit later this week. Per NFL insider Adam Schefter, former Panthers tight end Greg Olsen will visit with the Redskins, who have Olsen’s former long-time head coach Ron Rivera leading them into 2020. He’ll also visit the Bills, who have Panthers ties as well.
This move was expected in a sense, as there is an obvious connection between Olsen and Washington’s current staff. Rivera was the Panthers head coach who traded for Olsen in 2011, and current Redskins tight ends coach Pete Hoener was there just as long. Olsen’s familiarity with Washington’s coaching staff is a definite plus, as is his own immense amount of experience.
Some may be hesitant toward the prospect of signing Olsen, but in reality, it would be a solid move. Olsen will be 35 years old in March, so age is a concern, but in a way, that benefits potential suitors looking for the price to be driven down. Olsen may have a substantial salary, but he won’t command top dollar, and the price will be reasonable, given his multifaceted value as a solid offensive weapon (52 receptions and 597 yards with bad quarterback play in 2019) and a smart, effective mentor presence. Additionally, for Dwayne Haskins, having a tight end and offensive leader like Olsen for a year could be invaluable.
Olsen and another tight end addition are not mutually exclusive, either. Depending on Olsen’s cost, the Redskins could double-dip in free agency and go after a more cost-effective player, or they could draft a tight end reasonably early in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Having a player with upside like Brycen Hopkins or Adam Trautman learning behind Olsen for a year would undoubtedly set the tight end position back on the right track, and as evidenced by the scheduled visit, Ron Rivera is well aware of Olsen’s prevailing value in that sense.