Greg Olsen wishes Matt Forte, Bears well, but he’s happy with Panthers
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org June 30, 2012 8:50PM
Former Bears tight end Greg Olsen was in town Saturday to host his charity kickball tournament for cancer research. | John H. White~Sun-Times
Updated: August 2, 2012 10:41AM
It was the quietest roster move Chicago had seen in quite some time. In fact, it went
unnoticed in many corners
Tight end Greg Olsen reunited with running back Matt Forte. Gotta love the freedom of putting kickball teams together.
No salary cap, no franchise tag, no offensive coordinator deciding a talented tight end isn’t necessary in his offense these days.
‘‘Oh, no, this is serious,’’ Olsen said. ‘‘We’re the two-time champions and looking for a three-peat.’’
Olsen, now with the Carolina Panthers because of more Bears backward thinking, was in town to host the Kicks for a Cure kickball tournament, which benefits Olsen’s foundation, Receptions for Research. It’s a cause that has hit close to home ever since his mother, Susan, was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago.
Olsen’s team included members of his family, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Drew Stanton and, of course, Forte.
Even with Olsen a year removed from wearing a Bears uniform, he still understands Bears business. That means knowing what Forte has been going through in terms of having the franchise tag slapped on him this offseason and trying to negotiate a long-term contract extension.
‘‘I hope it works out,’’ Olsen said of Forte’s situation. ‘‘He’s been such a good, consistent player for them for so long, you would like to see them take care of their own, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The last couple of years, they really haven’t done that with their draft picks.
‘‘I know they gave [receiver] Earl [Bennett] an extension, so that was good. I think that’s important for continuity and consistency with the team, to show players that the people that do it the right way, work hard . . . those kinds of people should be rewarded. I understand the team has to do what it has to do and there are two sides to every story, but I hope for Matt’s sake it works out and he gets what he deserves.’’
Life with the Bears didn’t work out for Olsen because former offensive coordinator Mike Martz deemed him unnecessary in his mad-scientist offense. The Bears traded him to the Panthers for a third-round draft pick last July.
Then the 2011 season just happened to become the year of the tight end, as most of the top offenses in the league took advantage of faster, bigger, more athletic players at the position running past linebackers or going over the top of smaller safeties. Basically, what the Bears had in Olsen for four seasons before trading him.
Now Mike Tice is in charge of the Bears’ offense, and the tight end is Kellen Davis — all 18 catches and 206 yards of him.
Rather than make it an I-told-you-so moment, though, Olsen took the high road.
‘‘Davis is a good player,’’ Olsen said. ‘‘He’s going to do a good job for them. He just hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity since he’s come in the league to kind of be that guy. He’s a big, strong, talented kid. I think he’ll be fine.
‘‘I want those guys to do well. I have no hard feelings toward them, the team, the coaches or the city. This is the business we’re in, and I’ll always feel that this is my home. This is the first team that gave me the chance, and I’m thankful for that. But I’ve moved on to Carolina, and it’s equally amazing.’’
At least for one day, it was a nice reunion.