Greg Olsen was ready and willing to come back to Chicago — but apparently, Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears had other plans.
In a recent interview on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast, Olsen got candid about almost reuniting with the team that drafted him. The Bears selected the tight end in the first round of the 2007 draft with the 31st overall pick, and Olsen spent his first four years in Chicago before then-head coach Lovie Smith traded him to the Carolina Panthers, where he made three Pro Bowls in nine seasons while also establishing himself as one of the best tight ends in the game.
Apparently, when he was looking for a new team last offseason, an opportunity presented itself to return to the Windy City. Olsen was down for a reunion. The Bears were too, he says. Until they weren’t.
The latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!
Olsen: It Was Like Bears ‘Took Me on a Cheap Date’
After parting ways with the Panthers at the end of last season, Olsen was talked about as a potential addition for a Bears team in desperate need of tight ends. Chicago’s interest in him was more than a rumor, he says.
“Matt Nagy called me with the GM, and we talked for like 45 minutes on the phone,” Olsen said, via Brendan Sugrue of Bears Wire. “They’re asking me questions about routes, and what kind of systems have you played in and are you comfortable with code words vs. digits. What did you do on your backside routes? What was your leverage reads? All this stuff. So I hang up, I say to my wife, ‘Babe, I think they really like me and want to sign me. How cool would it be if life came full circle and we could finish up my career back in Chicago?’ That would be so sick, right? I got myself so excited.”
As it turns out, he got excited over nothing.
Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bears-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!
Jimmy Graham Wound Up Getting Signed Instead
“Long story short, they’re like, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have this,’” Olsen continued. “So I go and sign with Seattle. Day 1 of f—— free agency they sign Jimmy Graham. I’m like, ‘What the f—?!?’ And they paid him more than what I wanted!”
For the record, the Bears inked Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal that included a $6 million signing bonus and $9 million guaranteed.
“I go to my wife — and I love Jimmy, it has nothing to do with Jimmy — but when they signed Jimmy, those guys, it was like they used me,” Olsen said. “It was like they took me on a cheap date, picked my brain for everything they knew, then they just like gave me an Uber and sent me my way.”
Oof. While Graham certainly worked out in Chicago, leading the team in touchdowns last year with eight, Olsen was always a fan favorite and has been the epitome of durability and class over his 14 seasons in the league. You hate to see a player of his ilk get the runaround like that.
Let this be a lesson to you, Matt Nagy.