The Carolina Panthers and tight end Greg Olsen have mutually decided to cut ties after spending the last nine seasons together.

“Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with (general manager) Marty Hurney and have a great conversation regarding my future with the organization. The team and I are both on the same page that it is best we go in different directions for now,” Olsen said. “On the field, I will always cherish the nine seasons we shared together. The wins, the losses, standing at midfield holding the Halas Trophy as NFC champs. The reality of going to the Super Bowl was beyond words, as was the disappointment of falling short. Off the field is where my family felt the warmest embrace. In 2012, upon the news breaking regarding the challenges our son would face, the entire Carolina community wrapped their arms around us in support. My wife Kara and I will be forever grateful for the love and prayers shared with us since that time. Regardless of what path we choose, I will always be a Carolina Panther.”

Olsen was a fan-favorite who embodied the importance of respectfully representing the Panthers on and off the field. He was twice nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award and was inspired by his son T.J., who was born with a congenial heart defect, to create the HEARTest Yard Program to provide services and support for families in similar circumstances.

In a career that has spanned 13 seasons thus far, Olsen is ranked fifth all-time among tight ends in catches with 718, and yards, with 8,444. In Panthers’ franchise history, the 34-year-old is the leading tight end in receiving yards (6,463), receptions (524) and 100-yard receiving games (10). From 2014-2016, Olsen became the first tight end to record three straight seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving and made the Pro Bowl three straight years.

“Consistency is the word that comes to mind when I think about Greg,” owner David Tepper said in a statement. “A leader, great teammate, unbelievable family man and true professional. Greg brought passion and an intense, detailed work ethic to the stadium every day. As the ‘Jersey’ guy on the team, it was good to get to know Greg over the past two years and he will be remembered as one the best Panthers to ever play here. Greg and Kara’s work in the community continues to positively impact so many families in our city and the Carolinas.”

Hurney later added, “Greg’s meant so much to this organization and we have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He earned a reputation as one of the best tight ends in the League and served as a great leader and team captain. As special as he was for us on the field, his impact on the community is just as impressive. We are proud that he wore a Panthers uniform.”

 

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