Chicago Sun-Times

Greg Olsen says he leaves Bears with mixed emotions

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With his future in doubt, during a whirlwind 24 hours, tight end Greg Olsen mostly sat in a dorm room at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, home of the Bears training camp.

"It was weird, because you're sitting around your dorm, with nothing to do, and you don't know what's going on," Olsen told the Sun-Times in a short interview Thursday night. "But I'm glad I can move on and go forward."

On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers traded a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Bears for Olsen then agreed to terms with him on a four-year extension.

Olsen didn't expect this outcome.

On Tuesday, Bears officials told his agent Drew Rosenhaus that they needed a couple days -- based on all the chaos of this shortened offseason -- before they could discuss a possible extension for Olsen, who was scheduled to make $900,000 in 2011.

But on Wednesday night, the Bears informed Rosenhaus that they were looking to trade him.

"It was not something that I expected," Olsen said. "Then things transpired really fast. But, in the end, I think I'm going to a good place. There's no doubt I'm going to miss my teammates, and the city of Chicago has been awesome to me and my family.

"But, the business side of it, this was something that - I guess - was in the Bears best interests, and then once we started down that road, there was no turning back."

Asked if he could have played another down for the Bears, if they hadn't found a suitable trade partner, Olsen said, "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.

"We went through all that stuff last year, and I was able to put it behind me and move forward. Last year wasn't as serious. But this year was more open and official, that this is what they wanted to do, and something we wanted to pursue. It would be hard knowing that a team didn't want you two times, then playing through it again."

Olsen admitted that his reduced role and opportunities last season "bothered" him.

"There's no worse feeling then not being able to play up to your potential," he said. "Last year, I felt like that was the case."

Still, Olsen said he'll be grateful for his time with the Bears.

"I always had a tremendous amount of respect for Lovie [Smith] and the Bears for selecting me with their first pick [in 2007].

But Olsen is thrilled to be headed to Carolina. He'll reunite with former Miami teammate Jon Beason and former Miami offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

"To get back with coach Chud, and what he's done in the past, with tight ends, is going to be huge for my development," Olsen said, "and I'm looking forward to it."

Specifically, Chudzinski coached two of the game's most talented tight ends in Kellen Winslow and Antonio Gates.

Asked about his role, Olsen said, "It's hard to say.

"But, his track record of using guys is pretty clear, and that's encouraging. Now, it falls on my shoulders on how I perform.

"To be honest, I think it's a way to finally get out of the restraints of what our system was, and go to a place that I feel confident is going to utilize my abilities."

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6 Comments

Congrats Greg on getting out of dodge. You'll be glad you missed The Worst Show on Mangled Sod 2011 and it's one-man offensive line.

When I watched Olsen and Kellen Davis last year, besides the fact that one was a 5th round pick and the other was a 1st round pick, that they were about equal.
Kellen blocks alot better. But Olsen was a deep threat.
They were both good in the red zone.
And frankly, Kellen has better hands in his short work with the bears.
I predict Kellen will fill his shoes nicely. I am looking forward to him stepping up.

Sounds like Olsen was looking for top TE money. It's too bad we couldn't get that 2nd rounder from NE...There are allot of average TE's out there that can snag 50-60 balls a season. Hopefully he can produce somewhere else and get the pay day he feels he deserves.

Good luck Greg! This move benefits both the Bears and Olsen. He gets a fresh start and now the Bears have added a blocking TE with Superbowl experience... he was the top awarded TE drafted the same year as Olsen and he has talent. He can catch around the goal line, but most importantly he loves to pancake LBs and DEs for the running backs and protecting the QB.... Cutler is sad to lose a receiver, but gains time in the pocket on the horrible turf of sodness and adding Roy Williams and one more OL will ensure the BEARS will be much improved. Greg will finally get to catch without having to block, and the Bears can move on without having to explain why they are not using him. Both sides win and a 3rd rock pick is not bad to add more depth in next years draft.

Oh man finally I am so glad that b**** is gone. He sucked at blocking and sucked at YAC. No hear is a move I actually agree on with Angelo but he drafte him in the first place so I reward Angelo no points.

Greg Olsen is this generation's version of 1988 first round draft pick Brad Muster - someone who was hyped to be an offensive weapon the Bears could change their offense. In the early 90s Fox football announcer Tim Green tried to give Muster the nickname "Main Frame" because of all his revolutionary fullback talents. He was soon out of the league. Just like Muster Olsen has had some nice seasons but has not lived up to the hype. In Mike Martz's offense it wouldn't surprise me if Kellen Davis puts up similar numbers to Olsen's last year even if he isn't as talented. I always wondered what type of player Muster would have been if he had been on a different team with a more diverse offense like the 49ers. Olsen will now get the opportunity to show if he is really worth the hype or if he is a superb athlete but just an average tight end.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on July 28, 2011 8:51 PM.

Olsen traded to Panthers for player, pick was the previous entry in this blog.

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