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Seahawks sign former Panthers TE Greg Olsen to one-year contract

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Divisional Round - Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks need depth at tight end, and they’ve wasted no time signing a proven veteran.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that former Carolina Panthers star Greg Olsen has agreed to a one-year contract with the Seahawks that is worth $7 million, including $5.5 million guaranteed. Olsen had visited the Seahawks earlier this month after the Panthers and Olsen parted ways after nine seasons.

Schefter also added that Olsen had considered offers from the Buffalo Bills and Washington (where he could’ve reunited with head coach Ron Rivera), but “the lure of playing with Russell Wilson in Seattle was just too strong.”

To repeat my point from the opening sentence, Seattle’s TE situation is dire. Will Dissly went to injured reserve with his second serious season-ending injury in as many years. Ed Dickson missed all of 2019 with injuries and is unlikely to see out the last year of his three-year contract. Luke Willson is an unrestricted free agent, and Jacob Hollister is a restricted free agent.

The 34-year-old Olsen has been injury-stricken himself in recent years. A broken foot cost him more than half the 2017 season, he re-fractured it again in 2018, and that same season he had season-ending ruptured plantar fascia. Last year, Olsen did play in 14 of 16 games, missing two games with a concussion. In other words, he’s not nearly as productive as he used to be because of health issues, but in 2019 (and sans Cam Newton) he still had 52 catches for 597 yards and a couple of touchdowns.

It’s worth a shot, I suppose. Olsen has a proven track record and we know he’s not in his prime, but if he can stay healthy then the optimistic viewpoint is that he could carve out a nice role in Seattle’s offense as both a receiver and a blocker.