The Carolina Panthers apparently are very serious about making their tight ends a bigger part of the passing game.
They’ve just traded for Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs. That comes after the Panthers signed Jeremy Shockey before the lockout started. They also recently agreed to terms with veteran Ben Hartsock, but he’s viewed as a run-blocking specialist.
Olsen and Shockey are pass catchers and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has said he wants a passing game where the tight ends are heavily involved.
The compensation for Olsen is not yet clear, but Biggs reports it involves a draft pick and a player.
While adding Olsen after signing Shockey might seem a little excessive, consider it insurance. Shockey has plenty of wear and tear and may be nearing the end of his career. The Panthers may be planning to use Shockey as a situational player. Olsen is still in his prime. He caught 41 passes and five touchdowns last season, but had bigger numbers before coordinator Mike Martz arrived and reduced the role of the tight ends in Chicago’s passing game.