The moment that news broke of Greg Olsen’s Panthers release, all I could think of was how could the Steelers bring him in. From a positional need it’s a perfect fit, looking at it from a financial perspective it (sneakily) also looks like a fit. This sort of deal also has the appearance of something the Steelers would do, bring in a vet in the back end of their career that's a positional need. I'd compare it to the DeAngelo Williams’ contract.
2019 marked the healthiest year for Olson since the end of his 159 game iron man streak back in 2017. Playing in 14 games this past season Olsen put up 597 yards on 52 receptions for 2 TDs, mostly thrown by Panthers back-up QB Kyle Allen. While not earth shattering numbers I could only imagine those stats increasing catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger.
I view this deal as an affordable one, simply for two reasons. First, Olsen has had two of the past three seasons cut short by foot injuries, and second he's 34 years old and probably chasing one last championship run. How many contenders have a need at the position?
The answer is not many.
Out of all the postseason teams, I'd only consider the New England Patriots and Houston Texans looking at adding someone to their tight-end group, and if Tom Brady leaves New England I would no longer consider the Pats a contending team in 2020. I’d imagine Olsen will take less then the 11.8 Million that he was due to be paid by Carolina and I could foresee a 2-year deal to spread out that money.
Plus, after big name tight-ends Hunter Henry, Eric Ebron, and Austin Hooper have been scooped up, Pittsburgh may find themselves the far and away leader for Greg Olsen’s services.
With how many of the Steelers offensive contributors are under the age of 25, the veteran presence could help mold the locker room (especially the receiving group) long after Olsen is gone.
Greg is clearly only coming back to football if it’s with a team with a legit Super Bowl shot, and banking on Big Ben getting healthy and being backed by the Steelers defense should be enough to convince him that he should be wearing back-and-gold come September.
I think this could be a savvy move that would help bring both talent and leadership to Pittsburgh, and it’s one that Kevin Colbert should strongly consider.
But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!