Carolina Panthers extend TE Greg Olsen

Olsen was originally owed 5.25 million dollars in a contract year in 2015. This deal adds on 22.5 million over 3 years to the deal, gives him a 12 million dollar signing bonus, and keeps one of the best tight ends in the game under contract at a reasonable rate into the future. Olsen is going into his age 30 season, but this deal isn’t too long-term and he’s coming off of the first 1000+ yard season of his career in 2014, one of just two tight ends in the NFL to do that last season (Rob Gronkowski is the other one). Also an adequate blocker, Olsen graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 3rd ranked tight end last season, with only Jason Witten between him and Gronk.

He’s no one year wonder either as he’s graded out above average in 7 of 8 seasons he’s been in the league since being drafted in the 1st round in 2007, including above average as a pass catcher in all 8 seasons. He’s not flashy, but he’s productive (3 straight seasons of 800+ receiving yards), he doesn’t have a weakness, and he’s a huge part of Carolina’s offense. He also hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year in 2007. This was a smart move by the Panthers. My only issue is how much money they gave him up front combined with his age. It’s a bit of a stretch to say he’s going to decline significantly in a year or two, but if he does, the Panthers won’t be able to get more than half the value of this extension back.

Grade: A-

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