Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen will sign a two-year contract extension Thursday worth $8.55 million per season, with an annual maximum value of up to $10.05 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Olsen, who last month interviewed for the Monday Night Football analyst job previously held by Jon Gruden, was entering the final season of a three-year extension he signed in March 2015.
He told ESPN recently that he wanted an extension with the Panthers and that he would prefer to end his career in Carolina.
Olsen, 33, missed nine games last season with a broken foot suffered in Week 2. It was the first time since his rookie season with the Chicago Bears that he missed a game and the first time since his first season with the Panthers (2011) that he missed a start.
Olsen is the only tight end in NFL history to have three consecutive seasons (2014-16) with at least 1,000 yards receiving.
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Olsen, came out last week at the start of Carolina’s offseason voluntary workouts and voiced his desire to remain with the organization for the long-term future. Olsen told the Charlotte Observer last week the two sides hadn’t begun negotiations on an extension, but clearly it didn’t take long to hash out the numbers Olsen was looking for, locking him up for the next three seasons.
In re-signing Olsen, the Panthers lock up star quarterback Cam Newton’s favorite target. Olsen joined the Panthers in a trade from the Bears in 2011 and has been a difference-maker in Carolina’s offense ever since.
The extension on the day of the 2018 NFL Draft could alter the team’s plans over the coming three days. Carolina was showing heavy interest in South Carolina standout Hayden Hurst, a potential first- or second-round selection. But with Olsen now under contract the next three years, picking Hurst or somebody of his stature early in the draft now becomes more of a luxury than a necessity.
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