Making Sense of the Greg Olsen Trade

Let’s start off with one of my favorite Greg Olsen highlights.

The Chicago Bears sent tight end Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers for what is believed to be a third round draft pick, although specific terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed.  Early rumors following the trade reported that the Bears would receive a player and a draft pick.  The names Dan Connor and Armanti Edwards were floating around out there, but it’s not happening.

I suspect that the Bears got a third rounder with no player added rather than taking a marginal player and a lower-round pick.  Consider that if the Panthers suck next season as we expect them to, a third rounder is almost as good as the bottom of the second round.

This morning when I wrote about the possibility of the Bears trading Olsen, I said (and you know I love block quoting myself):

If you can get a third rounder for him AND there is a corresponding move to get a big red zone target wide receiver, I say go for it.  He is entering the last year of his deal and will be looking for a hefty raise.

The corresponding move I hoped for could be the acquisition of wide receiver Roy Williams, recently cut by the Cowboys.  The Bears are considered to be strong players for Williams, but the way free agency has gone so far, expect them to sign a new long snapper instead of a wide receiver.

Let’s discuss why the Bears traded Olsen after the jump.

So why did the Bears give up on one of the two first round Jerry Angelo draft picks left on this team?

Mike Martz

The instant that Mike Martz brought his Greatest Show on Turf act to Chicago, the sand started running out of Greg Olsen’s Chicago Bears hourglass.   It was widely reported that the Bears tried to trade him last offseason and had a deal in place with the Patriots for a second rounder before the Belicheck backed out and drafted his own tight end.  Olsen had his second least productive season as a Bear with 41 catches for just over 400 yards and 5 TD’s in Martz’s system.  Mike Martz likes the tight end to be an extension of the offensive line.  Martz would rather have another wide receiver in the pattern rather than a tight end, plain and simple.

Contract Status

Olsen is in the last year of his rookie deal and with an agent like Drew Rosenhaus, he will be out for a big money deal.  Given his production, it’s unlikely the Bears would have pursued re-signing him regardless of the offensive coordinator.    A tweet from Sun Times Bears beat guy Sean Jensen indicates that Olsen and the Panthers have agreed to a 4-year contract extension, but terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.   Whatever the terms of the deal turn out to be, I can assure you the Bears weren’t about to pay.

In closing, Olsen departs as another Bears first round draft pick with unfulfilled potential and unmet expectations.

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