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Olsen denies he told Bears to trade him; Angelo says TE did

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Chicago Bears said Greg Olsen desperately wanted out of town, begging and pleading for a trade. But Olsen doesn't remember it that way.

Olsen, whom the Bears dealt last month to the Carolina Panthers, admits that he wasn't happy with coordinator Mike Martz's offense, but he denies general manager Jerry Angelo's claim that the tight end "came at me hard last year" to be traded.

"(Angelo) put the perception out that I forced my way out of there, which wasn't true at all," Olsen told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday. "He called me into his office before the draft last year to talk about things that were going on, what they were thinking. He straight up told me, 'I understand this offense is not a good fit for you.' I said, 'I understand that Jerry, I agree.' He said, 'But we are not going to trade you, we are keeping you.'

"I never asked for a trade. If he had said, 'We are going to try to get rid of you,' I would have said, 'That's fine.' I did not go in his office and ask for a trade. I think a little bit of that is him trying to make it look like I tried to force my way out because they took so much heat about it. It's just not true."

Angelo told the newspaper that he stood by what he said: "Greg and I had numerous conversations prior to the 2010 season about his status with the Bears, both over the phone and in person. I spoke with his agent as well. In everybody's best interests, we made a decision that benefited both parties."

Olsen had been rumored to be available because of the perception that pass-catching tight ends don't fit in Martz's scheme. Last season, Olsen had his lowest totals in receptions (41) and yards (404) since he was a rookie in 2007, but he tied for the team lead with five touchdown catches.

"I played 90 percent of the snaps, did everything they asked," Olsen told the Tribune. "If they threw me the ball, I caught it. If they asked me to pass block, I did it, run block at fullback. After the season, they told me how good a job I did and how much of a team guy I was. They said they understood it wasn't easy and they were going to reward me as things progressed. They didn't."

What the Bears did was ship him to the Panthers, who had signed a pass-catching tight end in Jeremy Shockey earlier in the offseason. Still, Olsen's former teammates in Chicago are happy for him.

"They'll use him," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher told the Tribune. "They'll spread him out. They'll move him around. I understand about guys fitting systems. I'm no offensive guy, but we have a system and I guess we use tight ends in a certain way. And I guess he didn't fit that role."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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