Greg Olsen is not going to let those rumors involving the New England Patriots die out.
While appearing on the pregame show for Super Bowl LIV, the veteran tight end fueled speculation that he could join the Patriots. The topic was brought up by the FOX panel of hosts, to which Olsen replied that they’re currently looking to bring back the retired Rob Gronkowski and that he’s “third in line.”
“They’re trying to get Gronk back. If they don’t get him, I’m like third in line,” Greg Olsen said.
Olsen Would Be Easier To Sign Than Gronkowski
Of course, Olsen was saying this in a mostly humorous tone. Gronkowski currently works for Fox as an analyst and it had been rumored for months during the 2019 season that the Patriots were looking to bring their former tight end out of retirement.
“Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with (general manager) Marty Hurney and have a great conversation regarding my future with the organization. The team and I are both on the same page that it is best we go in different directions for now,” Olsen said. “On the field, I will always cherish the nine seasons we shared together. The wins, the losses, standing at midfield holding the Halas Trophy as NFC champs. The reality of going to the Super Bowl was beyond words, as was the disappointment of falling short.
Regardless of what path we choose, I will always be a Carolina Panther.”
Olsen established himself as one of the best tight ends during the decade of the 2010’s. The 34-year-old posted the first three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history (2014, 2015, 2016). Along the way, he became a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection.
The 13-year veteran also ranks fifth in NFL history in receptions and receiving yards. He also ranks ninth in receiving touchdowns.
Olsen Outperformed Patriots Tight Ends By Himself
While injuries have certainly slowed him down as of late — he played in just 16 games during the 2017 and 2018 seasons — he did rebound to have a healthy campaign in 2019. He played 14 games and caught 52 passes for 597 yards.
By comparison, the Patriots’ trio of tight ends — Benjamin Watson, Matt Izzo and Ryan LaCosse — combined for just 36 receptions and 418 yards last season.
With starting tight end Watson a free agent and likely headed towards retirement, New England has a desperate need for a new tight end. While they could look towards the draft or the free agent-heavy pool of tight ends in Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry and Eric Ebron, they could look for a cheap and established tight end in Olsen.
Considering he’ll be 35 years old next season and he’s coming off of a down season by his standards, why wouldn’t New England at least take a look at him?