New Seahawks TE Greg Olsen explains why Seattle is a ‘perfect situation’
Mar 12, 2020, 1:08 PM
The Seahawks, like the rest of the NFL, are waiting for league’s free agency period to start next week, but they’re one of the few teams who have made a move already, signing veteran tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year deal.
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The move made a lot of sense as Olsen, 35, is a proven commodity, having earned three Pro Bowl nods and catching 59 touchdowns during his 13 seasons on the NFL.
Additionally, the Seahawks needed depth there as presumed starter Will Dissly has played in just 10 games in two seasons, Ed Dickson is likely to be cut after missing all of 2019, Luke Willson is an unrestricted free agent and Jacob Hollister, who emerged as the team’s top tight end in 2019, is a restricted free agent.
Olsen chose the Seahawks over the Washington Redskins, whose head coach was Olsen’s coach in Carolina, and Buffalo, whose head coach was a defensive coordinator in Carolina. Additionally, Olsen could have done broadcasting for major networks. He’s done work for FOX Sports for the XFL this season, and has called games during his bye weeks in years past.
But Seattle ultimately proved to be too good to pass up, and Olsen explained why during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton Thursday.
“Obviously the football part was a no-brainer, but (my representatives and family) said, we were looking for the perfect opportunity and we weren’t looking to force anything,” Olsen said. “Between the fan base and the city and obviously the sustained success they’ve had on the field and then you factor in the coach and the quarterback and there’s not a whole lot that they’re missing and that was really appealing to me.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the prospect of playing with star quarterback Russell Wilson was what really gave Seattle an edge.
Greg Olsen really liked Buffalo and Washington, and strongly considered both. But the lure of playing with Russell Wilson in Seattle was just too strong. Olsen takes a 1-year, $7 million deal with the Seahawks.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 18, 2020
Wilson is one of the more mobile quarterbacks in the league and Olsen has experience playing with elusive quarterbacks from his time in Carolina with Cam Newton.
“I’ve been real fortunate the last nine years to play with someone like Cam and now to be able to transition to somebody like Russ is a really unique opportunity. They share a lot of similar characteristics,” Olsen said. “Obviously Russ, his mobility and movement and his ability to keep plays alive, no play is ever dead. He’s a rare and special talent, as was Cam.”
Wilson, the coaching staff and the team’s ability to win now were part of a package that Olsen was looking for when figuring out his future.
“All along, we set out and I said it’s going to take the perfect situation and what that was at the time is kind of hard to predict,” he said. “I had a handful of boxes in my head I wanted to be checked and I didn’t know if that situation I had in my mind existed … I asked every question you could come up with (to head coaches and general managers) and the Seattle situation from top to bottom just checked every box for me.”
Olsen said that Buffalo and Washington also were attractive landing spots, but ultimately, Seattle beat them out.
“Those were two really unique situations, and then the third one obviously being Seattle,” he said. “When I stacked them up next to each other, I just knew in my heart that Seattle was the right (fit).”
Transitioning to a career in broadcasting was also intriguing, but Olsen thinks he has more gas in the tank and that his TV career can wait.
“When that time comes (to move to TV), I’ll attack that with the same kind of effort I’ve attacked my football career, but I knew in my heart I could play and if the right situation was out there, I would take it.”
Olsen, for the first time since 2011, is changing teams. This comes with learning a new system and carving out a role. Despite the challenges that presents, he’s rearing to go.
“I’m excited to get into that offense and show them what I’ve done, but also, I’ve told them, I’m really open minded to learning what they’ve done,” he said. “I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I’m eager to go in there and learn new things and learn the way they want to operate as an offense and kind of mold my game into what fits for them and I’m excited for that process to start.”
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.
Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.
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