The New England Patriots need positive reinforcements at their tight end position. Is it at least worth bringing in Greg Olsen for a workout?
The New England Patriots had little-to-no production from their tight end position last season… and as we saw, it put a hole in their overall offense. Is it worth trying out the newest free agent to hit the market, Greg Olsen?
The Patriots need to show Tom Brady a sign of good faith and bring in an established player who could be a weapon for him in this offense. Although Olsen is on the wrong side of 30, Brady made it clear last season he prefers to play with developed and veteran players rather than young and inexperienced players.
According to the Boston Herald’s Tom Keegan, the Patriots are prepared to pay Brady at least $30 million per year in hopes of getting him to agree to a new contract for the remainder of his career.
Brady’s one stipulation is that he wants and needs the weapons necessary to get the job done. But keep in mind that the more money the Patriots give Brady, the less there is left to spend on free agent weaponry.
Olsen has played 13 years in the NFL for both the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers. In nine seasons with the Panthers, Olsen tallied 524 receptions, 6,463 yards, and 39 touchdowns. Olsen was also the first tight end in NFL history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (2014-2016).
It’s important to note that the Panthers released Olsen, making him eligible to sign with any team right now. Although he isn’t the player he once was, it could still be worth bringing him in for a workout at the very least. It wouldn’t cost the Patriots any money in doing so, and they can essentially “try him out” and see if he can be a good fit.
The Patriots have nothing to lose by doing so. But if you ask Olsen, he’d say the Patriots are trying to get Rob Gronkowski to come out of his retirement.
“They’re trying to get Gronk back, and if they don’t get him, I’m like third in line,” Olsen told Keegan.
I found it surprising to hear, as I thought we were over this potential Rob Gronkowski return. But nevertheless, if there is a return of Gronk, then the Patriots would have a few options in regards to the tight end position.
One option would be running both Olsen and Gronkowski in the dual tight end set that the team mastered over the years. The two of them together would spread out the ball more through the air and provide the blocking necessary at the end of the line to help with the running attack.
The issue with the Patriots bringing in more offensive weapons in 2020 is the salary cap.
But money won’t be an issue for an aging Olsen at least, who is nearing the end of his career. It’s another inexpensive way to get a quality player on the roster who doesn’t have too much of an impact against the cap.
The Patriots could also draft a tight end this year. And regardless of whether Olsen’s theory about Gronkowski is correct or not, the Patriots should still be interested in at least bringing Olsen in for a workout. If it goes well and the team signs him, the potential drafted rookie tight end would have an established veteran to maybe learn some pointers from.
If the New England Patriots want to go with a free agent for their next tight end, then Greg Olsen would be a better much better fit and option than some of the other free agent tight ends this year, including Eric Ebron, Darren Fells, and Jason Witten.