Football Team

Olsen says he 'almost' reunited with Davis, Rivera in Washington

Football Team

When longtime Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen became a free agent last offseason, the Washington Football Team was among three different clubs the veteran visited.

Washington wasn't necessarily an attractive destination at the time, coming off a 3-13 season and had plenty of questions at the quarterback position. Yet, Olsen was intrigued by the idea of reuniting with head coach Ron Rivera and longtime Carolina teammate Thomas Davis, who ended up signing with the Burgundy and Gold.

On Thursday, Olsen -- along with Davis -- held a joint retirement ceremony at the Panthers headquarters. During his speech, Olsen brought up how he almost came to Washington last spring and sounded just a little bit regretful that he didn't end up doing so.

"Almost went and joined Thomas and [Rivera] in Washington this year," Olsen said. "Ended up going out west. That's another conversation."

Olsen ultimately chose the Seahawks over Washington, hoping to have one final Super Bowl run in his career. At the time, Seattle appeared to be one of the NFC's best clubs, too.

The tight end played a limited role in 11 games with Seattle, catching 24 passes for 289 yards and one touchdown in 2020. Shortly after the Seahawks were bounced in the Wild Card round of the playoffs -- coincidentally the same day Washington was also eliminated from the postseason -- Olsen announced his retirement from the NFL.

After missing on Olsen, Washington ended up signing tight end Logan Thomas in free agency. The quarterback-turned-tight-end had the best season of his career in 2020, catching 72 passes for 670 yards and six touchdowns.


Although Olsen decided against running it back with Rivera once more in 2020, the tight end said Thursday he's still close with his former head coach.

"Ron, Coach Rivera, he's somebody I still keep in great contact with," Olsen said.

During the retirement ceremony, Rivera also sent out a congratulatory tweet to his two former players on great professional careers.

"I couldn't have been more blessed to have coaches great men like @ThomasDavisSDTM & @GregOlsen88. Congrats on incredible careers. You made our time together w/@Panthers special. Love & respect, Coach Ron," Rivera wrote.

While Washington would have welcomed Olsen with open arms last season, there are no hard feelings that he chose to sign in Seattle. Olsen had a great NFL career and, clearly, earned plenty of respect from his former coach and teammate.