Sources tell Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer that there have been no talks between the Panthers and TE Greg Olsen regarding a new contract that would pay him as one of the top tight ends in the NFL.
Instead, Person says that the Panthers feel more urgency to try to get an extension in place for veteran LB Thomas Davis, who is in the final year of his contract.
While there has been some talk that Olsen could hold out of training camp for a new contract, Person’s feeling is that he’ll ultimately show up for the start of camp, even if he does so begrudgingly.
Olsen said that in an “ideal world” the team would restructure the remaining two years of his contract since he is one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
“In the ideal world, that’d be great,” Olsen said. “I’m very confident on where I stand in the league and where I belong. Both productivity and all things considered, there’s nobody that’s been more productive or more consistent than I have. And I’ll stand on that until the cows come home.”
“You can make of that what you may,” Olsen added. “I feel comfortable with where I belong, and hopefully other people do, too.”
As for Thomas, he mentioned during an interview with WFNZ that while there currently isn’t any talks with Carolina about an extension, he’s still hoping to have an agreement in place before the start of training camp.
“That’s something all players in the last year of their deal, especially for guys who have put up the numbers I’ve put up and played the way I’ve played the last few years, you’d hope something get worked out,” Davis said. “We’re not actively talking now, but hopefully we can do something before training camp happens.”
Olsen, 32, is entering the third year of a four-year, $27.75 million contract and is set to make a base salary of $6.5 million over the course of the final two years of his deal.
In 2016, Olsen appeared in all 16 games and caught 80 passes for 1,073 yards receiving and three touchdowns for the Panthers. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 3 tight end in the league out of 63 qualifying players.
Davis, 34, is in the final year of his three-year, $18 million contract that includes $11.5 million guaranteed. He stands to make a base salary of $3.25 million for the 2017 season before testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
In 2016, Davis appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers and recorded 106 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions, a forced fumble, two recoveries with one being returned for a touchdown and four pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 39 linebacker out of 87 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding new deals for Olsen and Thomas as the news is available.