Greg Olsen could have traded in his helmet and shoulder pads for a tailored suit and cushy TV gig, but the veteran tight end decided to put retirement on the back burner for at least the 2020 season. It seemed like good timing for Olsen to transition to what is poised to be a very promising career as an analyst on the big screen as the Panthers went through a changing of the guard this offseason, hiring a new head coach while moving on from a number of notable veterans.
While his time in Carolina did come to a close this offseason, Olsen explained to 710 ESPN Seattle that he wanted to dictate when he walks away from the field and is looking for a better ending to his career than the injured fill campaigns he experienced over his final few years with the Panthers. That ultimately led him to the Seahawks, who signed him to a one-year, $7 million deal back in February.
"I just feel like I still have game left, I thought I still had things to prove – both to myself and I thought I had some work to do to cement myself with my legacy as a player," Olsen said, as transcribed by the official team website. "I didn't like the way my last two years (before last year), 2017 and 2018, went, with being hurt and getting dinged up and not feeling like I was able to be myself. That was kind of a bitter pill to swallow to think that my career would end like that. But when the opportunity came to play out here, it was just a really unique opportunity and a really unique circumstance to come out with a winning franchise and a proven head coach and proven quarterback."
Olsen was able to bounce back and play 14 games for the Panthers last season, but his production -- 52 receptions for 597 yards and two touchdowns -- wasn't at the level we'd grown accustomed to seeing from him prior to his injuries and when he was a Pro Bowl selection for three consecutive seasons. With Seattle, Olsen is not only looking to see an uptick in his stats by playing with Russell Wilson and for Pete Carroll but is also looking to potentially win the first Super Bowl title of his career.
"I think you don't take things for granted," he answered when asked what makes a championship club. "You don't think you're going to just show up, because you've won in the past, thinking that all of a sudden that means that it's going to happen again. The hardest thing about winning is to continue to win, and I think human instinct says 'OK, I've done this before. I got it, let's just keep doing what we're doing.'
"I think the good organizations that you see at this level and the college level, they have a never ending sense of (saying) 'what can we do to improve.' In my time out here so far, you can tell why they've always won out here. The attention to detail from how they run their team meetings to the things they go over and situations they cover, you can tell why that success has been relatively consistent."