Greg Olsen could have rode off into the sunset and headed directly for a TV booth. Instead, the veteran tight end decided to continue to put his body on the line, joining the Seattle Seahawks.
After nine seasons in Carolina, the three-time Pro Bowler headed to the opposite coast in hopes of chasing down an elusive Super Bowl ring. He played 14 games in 2019 but missed a combined 16 games the previous two years due to injury. He told 710 ESPN Seattle that being banged up isn't how Olsen wanted to end his career.
"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," he said, via Logan Reardon of the team's official 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."
The Panthers were ready to move on, as they did with a bevy of veterans. Olsen, however, is hoping to hang on for one more run at a Lombardi. In Seattle, the 35-year-old believes he has a shot with Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, et al.
"I think you don't take things for granted," he said. " 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."
The Seahawks TE crew, led by Olsen and Will Dissly, has the potential to be potent, but health is key for both players. Olsen might not have wanted to go out battling injury, but such is life for an aging NFL player. The veteran hopes to have at least one more full season before turning to the television booth.