Olsen vs. Celek? Payday decides it

December, 1, 2009
12/01/09
3:54
PM ET
CHICAGO -- It’s easy to spot the similarities between Greg Olsen and Brent Celek.

[+] EnlargeBrent Celek
Howard Smith/US PresswireEagles tight end Brent Celek has benefited from having other weapons such as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin around him.
  • Each plays tight end for an NFC team (Olsen for the Chicago Bears, Celek for the Philadelphia Eagles).
  • They have similar builds (Olsen 6 foot 5, 255 pounds; Celek 6-4, 255).
  • Both were taken in the 2007 draft (Olsen first round / Celek fifth round).
  • Their statistics are fairly comparable (Olsen 47 receptions, 448 yards, 6 TDs; Celek 54 receptions, 601 yards, 5 TDs).One major difference: Celek got paid.The Eagles tight end just agreed to a six-year contract extension, worth $33 million, with $11 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley. Remember the conversation this summer about Olsen receiving a new deal? That idea likely has been put on hold, for now, especially since Olsen is signed through 2011. But I still view Olsen as a guy I want around for the foreseeable future.Why?

    Despite his struggles as a blocker, Olsen still adds a lot of value to the passing game. Maybe the Bears should just utilize Olsen as a receiver, and put him strictly in the slot or split out wide -- I’m certainly not the first to suggest this possibility. Why keep asking Olsen to do something he isn’t capable of? It would be like asking me to teach advanced calculus (I got a C in basic geometry).

    Back to Celek for a second. Remember, he has the luxury of playing with speedster DeSean Jackson and rookie Jeremy Maclin. Who is taking the pressure off Olsen? Maybe when Jay Cutler stops feeling pressure on every snap (or is actually allowed to roll outside the pocket), Olsen finally will put up those monster numbers many predicted during training camp. Or maybe the Bears find a few legitimate receivers to compliment Olsen. Johnny Knox is off to a great start, but how about a true No. 1? Or even a proven No. 2?

    That would be nice.
  • Jeff Dickerson | email

    Chicago Bears beat reporter
    Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He is also a talk-show host on ESPN 1000 and the ESPN Radio network.

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