For the Redskins, Greg Olsen wouldn’t have been the answer
Greg Olsen has signed with the Seattle Seahawks. While the Washington Redskins were among three finalists in the race to sign him, he simply wasn’t the right long-term fit in Washington.
Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is heading to the Pacific Northwest. Olsen is signing with the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year $7 million deal.
With Jordan Reed recovering from concussion protocol extending from the beginning of last season and Vernon Davis making golf plans for this fall in retirement, was Greg Olsen the best shot the Redskins had to fix the tight end position?
In 2019, the Redskins paid more than any team in the NFL to fill their tight end spot on the roster. But similarly to previous years, injuries completely dismantled any chance of productivity at the position. So what do the Redskins do? Do you go with a veteran proven talent, or do you build from the draft? These are the questions that loom ahead for Ron Rivera and the Redskins new front office.
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But here is one thing to note. Greg Olsen was not the answer for the team long term. Here is why.
To start with, Olsen will be making $7 million this year in Seattle, with $5.5 million in guaranteed money. While he undoubtedly deserves to be paid as a proven veteran tight end, the Redskins aren’t in a spot to spend more than they need to at that position.
The second thing to keep in mind is the most crucial factor. Over the last few years, Olsen has spent a lot of time in the injury tent. The tight end from Miami has battled countless injuries that have cost the Panthers a valuable asset in the offense. Redskins fans are very much used to seeing backup tight ends enter games, and bringing in veterans with a deep injury history is a risk that has backfired on the franchise far too many times in the past.
When healthy, however, Olsen is a top tier tight end in the league. As a three-time Pro-Bowler and two-time second-team All-Pro, just ask a Carolina Panthers fan how much of a factor Olsen can play in a prolific offense. But at 34 years of age, the Redskins are faced with something they usually don’t have the luxury of facing.
They have options.
From the draft to free agency, a number of top-tier tight ends are slated to become available. Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper are two marquee names to watch. While those names may command top dollar, free agents like Darren Fells, Eric Ebron, Charles Clay, and Ricky Seals-Jones are names of productive players that the ‘Skins could snag for a much lower price tag.
The most important part of the Redskins rebuilding process is to get younger on both sides of the ball. Derrius Guice, Terry McLaurin, Montez Sweat, Dwayne Haskins, Jon Allen, Daron Payne, and Kelvin Harmon are just a few of the names that are building blocks of youth for the future. Each new draft and new offseason is a chance to get younger and faster, and that is what Washington has begun to do.
While bringing in someone like Olsen brings a veteran presence to the locker room, and the upside of a proven commodity, the risks of injury and the higher price tag make for a good decision to pass on signing the former Carolina Panther.
While Olsen will be up in Seattle catching touchdowns from Russell Wilson, the Redskins will hopefully be taking steps to make the position younger, faster,and more productive than it ever was this time last year.