Panthers TE Olsen: Bears trade was 'best thing to ever happen to me'
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chicago Bears, the team that selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He was a productive pass-catcher during that span, but the Bears decided to deal him away in July of 2011.
After experiencing tremendous success over the past five seasons with the Panthers, Olsen can look back at the trade that landed him in Carolina and confidently consider it a blessing.
Looking back, that trade from Chicago was the best thing to ever happen to me.
When I was there, I had some personal success, to a point. We had a lot of changes. We had three offensive coordinators. We had a lot of ebbs and flows of our team. We had a lot of moving parts at quarterback.
But since I’ve come here, we’ve had so much consistency. I’ve been able to grow and kinda evolve as a player and have people believe in me, to let me go out and do what you brought me here to do.
Across the board, from the organization to the community of Charlotte, and then obviously on the field professionally, it’s been a home run.
As quarterback Cam Newton's top target, Olsen is putting up bigger receiving statistics by the year. He has eclipsed 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, including a career-high 1,104 yards in 2015. Last year, he set a career-high for receptions with 84. With the Bears, he averaged less than 50 catches per year (although his eight touchdowns in 2009 still stands as a career-best mark).
In addition to individual success, Olsen has also experienced tremendous team success since joining the Panthers. Carolina has made the playoffs each of the past three seasons and will compete for this year's Super Bowl, while Chicago hasn't qualified for the postseason since 2010.