The Bears have traded Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers for a third-round draft pick.
Olsen was quickly becoming one of the top tight ends in Bears history but how he would fit into Mike Martz's offense has been a question since the offensive coordinator was hired before last season. Apparently, we finally have an answer.
Olsen was one of quarterback Jay Cutler's favorite targets, especially in the red zone. His 20 touchdown receptions in three seasons is second only to Mike Ditka's 34. Although Olsen and Cutler are also close friends off the field, someone familiar with their relationship said he didn't expect the Bears parting ways with Olsen to negatively affect the quarterback.
"Although they have a friendship, Cutler will expect Greg to do whatever he has to do for himself," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Olsen caught 41 passes for 404 yards and five touchdowns last season despite playing in an offense that does not highlight the tight end position. It was his lowest total in yards and receptions since his rookie season in 2007. Despite the dip in production, Olsen tied for the team lead with five touchdown grabs.
"I thought after what he did last year they would be OK with who he was as a tight end," the source said. "I don't know if he was OK with it but he made improvements last year and he showed he can play in the offense."
It is not known which player or draft pick(s) the Bears will receive in return for Olsen, whose rookie contract expires after next season.