The Washington Redskins are desperate for some proven, veteran talent at the tight end position. And Greg Olsen would be a perfect fit for the squad.
On Monday afternoon, the Carolina Panthers did something that many expected them to do during the 2020 offseason. They released Greg Olsen to afford the veteran a chance to test free agency.
Olsen had been with the Panthers since a 2011 trade involving the Chicago Bears. He emerged as one of the NFL’s best tight ends and pass-catching weapons and made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2014 to 2016.
But Olsen, who turns 35 in March, had little incentive to stay with the rebuilding Panthers. And the Panthers were fine with parting ways with him to explore some younger options in their tight end corps, like Ian Thomas. So, the two sides mutually parted and now Olsen will be looking for work.
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And the Washington Redskins could be an ideal fit for him.
For Olsen, there is a lot to like about the Redskins. There would be an opportunity for him to start right away, as the ‘Skins don’t have much talent at tight end in the wake of Vernon Davis’ retirement and Jordan Reed’s uncertain future. Reed missed all of last season with a concussion, and it’s possible that he could be forced into retirement.
Olsen would come in right away and be the de facto starter for the team. He’d be reunited with long-time head coach Ron Rivera and could serve as a veteran leader as well. And if the team selected a young tight end in the 2020 NFL Draft to pair with him, Olsen could serve in a mentorship role to further help the team.
For the Redskins, Olsen would be a big upgrade over what they have. He’d be a great middle-of-the-field target for Dwayne Haskins and his familiarity with Rivera would be intriguing. Sure, some may not like the idea of adding a 35-year-old to a team that needs to rebuild, but it’s worth noting that tight ends can be effective into their late 30s and Olsen would likely come cheap. So even if he regresses, it wouldn’t cost the team too much.
And at the very least, landing Olsen ahead of free agency — Olsen being released now means he can sign with another team at any time — would give the ‘Skins a guaranteed solid option at tight end, which is something that they don’t currently have.
The Redskins are already planning on meeting with Olsen and it’s possible that the two could agree to a deal. He simply fits what the team needs very well but also won’t preclude the team from adding a second tight end in free agency (Austin Hooper or Hunter Henry come to mind) or the draft (Adam Trautman or Brycen Hopkins could work out well).