The NFL offseason is officially underway which means it’s time to talk free agency! Who will go where, where will they sign, how much for and so on. The Buffalo Bills could be a big player in free agency as they have an estimated $81 million in cap space. A big focus this offseason for the Bills is to add weapons around Josh Allen and the offense which struggled to score 20 points a game last season. And just two days after the Super Bowl one name has already come up as potential target for the Bills.
On February 3rd, it was announced that tight end Greg Olsen and the Carolina Panthers have mutually agreed to part ways after 9 seasons. And Olsen isn’t wasting anytime finding a new home as he’s reportedly set to visit the Bills this week.
Former Panthers’ TE Greg Olsen will visit the Bills and Redskins this week, per source. Buffalo’s GM Brandon Beane used to be with Carolinas, as did Washington’s HC Ron Rivera.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 3, 2020
Now the question becomes should the Bills go out and sign the now former Panthers tight end?
Last season, Olsen in 14 games recorded 52 receptions, 597 yards and 2 touchdowns. Now on paper the numbers don’t jump out to you, but when you take a deeper look, you can see why Olsen may be worth signing. His 52 receptions and 597 yards were both ranked 11th most among tight ends in the league. Olsen was able to produce these numbers despite the Panthers having a below average offense which ranked 20th in points (21.2) and 20th in passing yards (228.1 per game). Not to mention the Panthers had a revolving circus at quarterback with Cam Newton, Kyle Allen and Will Grier.
What also helps is that Bills head coach Sean McDermott and Greg Olsen have a relationship with one another. McDermott and Olsen spent 6 seasons with each other as McDermott was the defensive coordinator of the Panthers from 2011-2016. Plus it’s a running joke at this point that the Bills have become “Panthers North” with so many former players and coaches coming from Carolina to Buffalo. So Olsen to the Bills makes sense for a lot of reasons.
There are some reasons why the Bills may stay away from Olsen. To start, Olsen will turn 35 in March and there are serious questions about his health. In 2017 and 2018 he played in a combined 16 games. In 2017 he broke his right foot and in 2018 he re injured the SAME foot again. This past season he was able to play in 14 games, the most he played since 2016. Can Olsen really still be productive as a 35 year old tight end?
Plus the Bills would have to make room on their roster for Olsen. They have 5 tight ends currently under contract, including Tyler Kroft who they signed last year to a 3 year $18.7 million deal. They also drafted two tight ends in Dawson Knox in the 3rd round and Tommy Sweeney in the 7th who ended up being decent for the Bills last season. Combined they had 36 receptions, 502 yards and 2 touchdowns. Plus looking the film, Knox in particular looks like a potential rising star at the tight end position.
If the Bills are going to bring in Olsen, he is projected to have a $5.2 million cap hit and would be projected to sign a 2 year, 10.5 million dollar deal. If the deal is for the right money and if Olsen can stay healthy, I don’t see why the Bills don’t take a shot on the experienced veteran.