The Carolina Panthers have already lost a lot of talent this offseason, with Andrew Norwell and Star Lotulelei walking out the door in free agency, but things could get even worse for Carolina if Greg Olsen decides to leave the NFL and, in a very surprising twist, take a job with either ESPN or FOX Sports.

Olsen, 33 years old, will reportedly audition with ESPN for a role on "Monday Night Football" according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. 

There will also be interest, per Marchand, in Olsen on FOX Sports part for the color analyst job on "Thursday Night Football."

Olsen appeared on a FOX broadcast last year while he was on (temporary) injured reserve, calling a game between the Vikings and the Rams. Although Minnesota GM Rick Spielman criticized a current player for participating in a broadcast featuring two teams the Panthers could see in either the regular season or postseason -- Olsen called the comments crazy, believing it gave him no real advantage -- the Panthers tight end drew rave reviews from viewers and the media. He was very likeable in the booth and clearly has a deep knowledge of football.

One problem: he's still playing! So what would happen if Olsen landed a job with either ESPN or FOX? Well, there's conflicting information out there. 

As you see from Marchand, Olsen "could continue playing" which indicates he would not play for the Panthers if he secured a job. That seems fairly obvious; you can't play in the NFL and call NFL games at the same time.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports Olsen "has committed" to playing for Carolina in 2018.

David Newton of ESPN reported that Olsen could retire if he landed the ESPN job.

Sources told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer that Olsen has given the Panthers assurances he wants to be with the team "this season and beyond" and that he's taking a look at something "down the road."

So that should give Panthers fans a sigh of relief for 2018 and beyond. But it's not necessarily over. If Olsen were to audition for MNF and actually secure the job as color analyst, it's possible he could decide to leave the NFL. He's still playing at a high level, but he is 33 and has battled some injuries lately. 

Olsen was drafted in 2007, like Joe Thomas and Paul Posluszny, both of whom retired this offseason. He's certainly at a reasonable age for someone who would walk away from football. The Panthers are expected to contend this year, despite the free agency losses, primarily thanks to the presence of Cam Newton. Olsen's been his most trusted weapon over the past several years.

Cam certainly hopes that's the case in 2018 and he's throwing passes to Olsen, rather than hearing Olsen talk about his passes.