After 14 seasons in the NFL, Greg Olsen is officially calling it a career.
Prior to Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the Buccaneers and Packers during the pre-game show on Fox, Olsen announced his retirement from football, indicating he will now transition from the playing field to Fox Sports’ broadcast team.
“After playing 14 years in this league – proud of what I was able to accomplish, proud of the relationships, and everything that the game has given me – but sometimes when it’s time, it’s time,” Olsen stated. “My time in the NFL has come to an end and I’m excited for the next chapter.”
Olsen, 35, signed a one-year, $7 million with the Seahawks last February weeks after being waived by the Panthers. Though he dealt with a torn fascia in his left foot late in the season, he appeared in 12 games with eight starts, catching 24 receptions for 239 yards and a touchdown.
While those numbers ranked among the lowest in Olsen’s career across the board, he impressed coach Pete Carroll and his teammates with his leadership and toughness throughout the season. After suffering his foot injury in Week 11, he made a spectacular recovery to return to action for Seattle’s Week 16 NFC West-clinching win over Los Angeles after missing just four games.
“He’s the real deal,” Carroll told reporters in mid-December. “He’s such a great football player, he loves this game so much, he loves competing so much. There’s no space other than he’s the top of the list in all of those character principles about who he is and what he’s all about and what you can expect from him.”
Posting a retirement message on Instagram, Olsen indicated his two greatest regrets were never “reaching the mountain top” by winning a Super Bowl and not being able to enjoy his final game with family in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drafted by the Bears in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Miami, Olsen produced 1,981 yards and 20 touchdowns in his first four seasons before being dealt to the Panthers for a third-round pick prior to the 2011 season. His arrival came at the same time Carolina used the first overall pick to select quarterback Cam Newton, setting the franchise up for extended success.
Thriving in Carolina, Olsen broke out with a career-high 69 receptions for 843 yards during the 2012 season. Starting in 2014, he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in three consecutive seasons, becoming the first tight end in NFL history to accomplish the feat while earning three Pro Bowl nods and two Second-Team All-Pro selections.
Olsen played a starring role for the best team in Panthers history, helping them finish 15-1 during the 2015 season and eventually advance to the Super Bowl, where they lost to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. He finished with a career-best 1,104 receiving yards and seven touchdowns before adding 16 receptions for 231 yards in the playoffs.
When Olsen and the Panthers agreed to part ways last season, he left as the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yardage at the tight end position. He also departed with more 100-plus yard games (10) than any tight end in team history.
With his career now in the books, Olsen will retire with the fifth-most receptions (742), sixth-most receiving yards (8,683), and ninth-most touchdowns (60) for a tight end in NFL history. After putting up such gaudy stats during a career that spanned nearly 15 seasons, he may soon be fitted for a gold jacket in Canton.