|No. 88 - Carolina Panthers|
|Born:||March 11, 1985|
Paterson, New Jersey
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||255 lb (116 kg)|
|High school:||Wayne Hills|
(Wayne, New Jersey)
|NFL Draft:||2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 31|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2019|
Gregory Walter Olsen (born March 11, 1985) is an American football tight end for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Miami and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He holds an NFL record as the first tight end in league history to record three consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.
Olsen grew up in Wayne, New Jersey, and attended Wayne Hills High School, where he played football and basketball under his father, Chris Olsen Sr. As a high school senior he was one of three finalists for the Gatorade Player of the Year award, along with former Miami Hurricane teammate Kyle Wright. He was a USA Today First-Team All-American as a senior in 2002. He finished his career with 73 receptions for 1,474 yards, and a school-record 27 touchdowns. He played in the 2003 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
In track & field, Olsen competed in the throwing events and as a sprinter. He recorded a personal-best time of 11.40 seconds in the 100 meters. He placed 2nd in the shot put event at the 2003 NJSIAA Meet of Champions, recording a career-best throw of 18.03 meters. He also had top-throws of 46.63 meters in the discus throw and 59.83 meters in the javelin throw.
Olsen originally enrolled at the University of Notre Dame but transferred as a freshman to the University of Miami in 2003. In 2003, he was on the Hurricanes' scout team before suffering a shoulder injury and being redshirted. He became the starter of the Miami Hurricanes in his sophomore season in 2005 after Kevin Everett was drafted in the third round by the Buffalo Bills. In his career, he totaled 87 receptions for 1215 yards and six touchdowns.
In 2003, Olsen was one of the players that participated in the University of Miami's rap group, the 7th Floor Crew, under the pseudonym G-Reg. Many media sources ridiculed him for his involvement in the group, which earned national notoriety for their sexually explicit and vulgar lyrics. Olsen addressed the media about the issue almost a week after the draft. He apologized for his actions and stated he had moved on.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft in
|9 ft 6 in
|All values from NFL Combine.|
The Chicago Bears selected Olsen in the first round as the 31st overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He signed a five-year contract with the team on July 3, which made him the first player of the draft's top 64 selections to come to terms with their team. He sustained a knee injury during the Bears' final preseason game in 2007, and consequently, he missed the team's first two games while recovering. He made his NFL debut on September 23, 2007 against the Dallas Cowboys, catching two passes for twenty-eight yards. Olsen caught his first touchdown two weeks later during a Week 5 match-up against the Green Bay Packers. Olsen finished the season with 39 receptions for 391 yards and two touchdowns.
Olsen saw his playing time increase during his second season. He started 7 of 16 games, making 54 receptions for 574 yards and five touchdowns. He led the team in receiving touchdowns, while finishing second in receptions and receiving yards. Olsen was selected as a second alternate for the 2009 Pro Bowl. Chicago's Comcast SportsNet named Olsen the Bears Player of the Year.
In 2009, Olsen quickly developed a rapport with Jay Cutler, whom the Bears had acquired from the Denver Broncos. Olsen and Cutler connected for 60 receptions, for 612 yards, and eight touchdowns. He led the Bears in receptions and touchdowns, while finishing behind Devin Hester for most receiving yards. Before the 2010 season the Bears fired Ron Turner and hired Mike Martz as offensive coordinator. His numbers dropped compared to his 2008 and 2009 seasons, as he recorded 41 receptions for 404 yards, and 5 touchdowns. However, Olsen helped the Bears win their first 2011 playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, catching three passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Through the first six weeks of the 2014 season, Pro Football Focus rated Olsen as the best tight end in pass block efficiency and receiving. Through the first 7 weeks of the season, he led all tight ends in receiving yards with 493, and had recorded at least five catches and 60 yards receiving in all but one game throughout the year. He finished the regular season with a career-high 84 catches, 1,008 receiving yards, as well as 6 touchdowns en route to the Panthers second consecutive NFC South division title. Olsen finished third in the NFL for receptions by a tight end and second for both yards on the season and yards per game. It was Olsen's first 1,000 yard receiving season. For his efforts during the 2014-15 season he was voted to the 2015 Pro Bowl. Playing for Team Carter, Olsen had three receptions for 53 yards and two touchdowns.
On March 5, 2015, the Panthers signed Olsen to a three-year extension worth $22.5 million. The extension includes a $12 million signing bonus with an average annual salary of $7.5 million, according to Olsen's agent Drew Rosenhaus.
He proved especially valuable to the Panthers in 2015, as teammate and #1 wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin suffered an ACL tear and did not play for the entire year. Olsen was tasked with being the main target of soon-to-be NFL MVP Cam Newton, and performed well. During the Panthers week three matchup against the New Orleans Saints, Olsen caught 8 passes including two touchdowns and a career-high 134 receiving yards. He also tied a career long reception of 52 yards. Through the first four weeks of the season Olsen had 17 receptions for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns. He continued his high level of play during a week 6 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Olsen caught 7 catches for 131 yards along with a game-winning touchdown with under a minute to play. The touchdown helped keep the Panthers undefeated season alive as they improved to 5-0 on the season. He played well against the New Orleans Saints again later in the season. he recorded nine receptions, including one on 4th down during the Panthers final drive, and 129 yards. Through the first 13 games of the year Olsen recorded 65 receptions for 969 yards and 6 touchdowns.
During the 2015 season, Olsen set Panthers records for career receiving yards and receptions for a tight end, both previously held by former Panther Wesley Walls. During the Panthers' 41-38 victory over the New Orleans Saints to improve them to 12-0, he caught nine passes for 129 yards and, during the game, passed Walls for most career receptions by a TE in Panthers' history.
Olsen finished the 2015 regular season with 77 receptions with 1,104 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was selected for his second consecutive Pro Bowl and to the AP All-Pro second team. According to PFF, Olsen ranked as the 2nd-best receiving tight-end in the NFL, behind only Rob Gronkowski. He was ranked 38th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
In the NFC Divisional Round, Olsen hauled in six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown to help the Panthers to a 31-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks and an NFC Championship game matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. He caught six passes for 113 yards against the Cardinals to help the Panthers in their 49-15 win and a Super Bowl 50 berth against the Denver Broncos. In Super Bowl 50, he had four catches for 41 yards, but the Panthers lost by a score of 24-10.
The 2016 season saw the Panthers fail to return to the playoffs following their Super Bowl 50 appearance. Olsen would still have a good season in terms of production. He finished the 2016 season with 80 receptions for 1,073 yards and three touchdowns. He would be named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. With a 17-yard catch in the second quarter of the game against the Atlanta Falcons, Olsen set an NFL record, becoming the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He was also ranked 67th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
During Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, Olsen left the game with a foot injury. Olsen later confessed that his foot was broken, which was positive after an X-ray test. It required surgery, causing him to miss 6-8 weeks. He was placed on injured reserve on September 19, 2017. On November 19, Olsen served as a guest analyst on FOX Sports, calling a matchup between the Vikings and the Rams. On November 24, 2017, Olsen was activated off injured reserve to the active roster. He ended up playing the next game against the NY Jets, upon playing Olsen aggravated his surgically repaired foot and was taken out of the game.
On April 26, 2018, Olsen signed a two-year extension with the Panthers worth $17.1 million with a potenial max of $20.1 million.
In the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Olsen left the game in the second quarter with a foot injury. It was confirmed that he had re-fractured his right foot and would be sidelined indefinitely.
In week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen caught 6 passes for 110 yards as the Panthers lost 20-14. In week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals, Olsen caught 6 passes for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Panthers won 38-20.
Olsen's older brother, Chris Jr., played quarterback for the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. His brother also tried out for a spot on the Bears' roster, during their rookie mini-camp in May 2007, but was not offered a contract. His younger brother, Kevin, was recruited heavily by several D1 schools, before deciding to play at Greg's alma mater, Miami. After incidents during his freshman and sophomore years, Kevin was dismissed from the team and the university. Kevin signed with the Charlotte 49ers in 2015 to live and play in the same town as his brother Greg. On February 19, 2017, Kevin was arrested on multiple charges. Kevin was found not guilty on the charges in October 2018.
Olsen founded Receptions For Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation in 2009, which helps fund cancer research. Greg's mother, Sue, is an 11-year cancer survivor and the inspiration for his foundation. One of his fundraising events includes Kicks for a Cure Kickball Tournament, the world's largest charity kickball tournament. The large-scale event is held annually each summer in Chicago's Grant Park and hosts over 1,000 people. Kickball teams compete and have fun in an effort to raise money for cancer research.
Greg and wife Kara welcomed their first son, Tate Christian Olsen, in early June 2011. In April 2012, he announced that they were expecting twins. On October 9, 2012, twins Talbot and T.J. (Trent Jerry) were born. T.J. was born with a very rare congenital heart condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS. Talbot was born without complications.