Greg Olsen: Bears were 'unprofessional'

Updated: November 3, 2011, 9:46 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Greg Olsen is happy to be one of Cam Newton's favorite targets with the Carolina Panthers, but the tight end believes the Chicago Bears were "unprofessional" in their dealings with him that led to a trade before the season.

Olsen, known more as a pass-catching tight end than a blocker, was an odd fit in a Mike Martz offense that utilizes the position more for blocking. The Bears traded Olsen to the Panthers in July, a year after the New England Patriots were in trade talks for him. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said during training camp that Olsen pushed for a trade then, a claim Olsen denies.

"I just felt that the way they approached it was, in my opinion, a little unprofessional," Olsen said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "The night before the trade when they contacted me and I spoke to Jerry, we had a good healthy conversation and he laid out what they were thinking, that they were not going to invest that money in the position because of the offense and all those things that we all know.

"[He said] they were going to entertain trades. I said that's fine. I get that. I said you know me I'm not one that goes out and speaks to the media. I'm not really a throw-guys-under-the-bus [kind of guy]. I respect that. I was nothing but professional. Then the day after the trade goes down he was the one saying that I was demanding [a trade in 2010]. I just thought that was a little uncalled for when all along I did nothing but play the good guy."

Olsen, a first-round draft pick in 2007 who caught 41 passes for 404 yards and five touchdowns in his fourth and final season with the Bears in 2010, said he felt the organization let him down after word got out that a trade with the Patriots fell through.

"Last year when they tried to trade me to New England and it all falls through I'm the guy out there biting the bullet keeping the straight face saying 'I'm happy to be here' in an offense that I knew wasn't going to use me," Olsen said. "I still went out there and played one of my best all-around seasons that I have had in the league, blocking and doing all the things they asked me to do being the team guy.

"Then for them to just throw me under the bus when I never did demand a trade, I just thought that was unprofessional on their part. But at the end of the day it is what it is, and I really can honestly say I'm happy here and I'm really happy that they made that decision for my career. Obviously they are having a good season too so it's worked out for everybody."

Olsen already has 30 catches and four touchdowns this season playing with rookie star Newton, who is second in the NFL with 2,393 yards.

Olsen still keeps in touch with his former Bears teammates, including running back Matt Forte, who has been in talks with the Bears about a contract extension. The Bears reportedly will use the franchise tag on Forte if they don't get a long-term deal done by February.

The breakdown in the contract negotiations don't make sense to Olsen.

"I think it's a little crazy that they won't reward their best player," Olsen said. "Let's be honest, especially offensively he's been pretty much the whole offense. He singlehandedly beat us. He's a great kid. He works extremely hard as we all know in working out with him in the offseason. It's not a mystery why he's having such a good season. And it's not just one season. He's been like this since he was a rookie. He's come in and carried a heavy load under two different offensive coordinators and his play has just continued to get better.

"Those are the guys you want to see rewarded, the guys that do it the right way, the guys that aren't real flashy and don't really care about all the extra curricular stuff but just go out and play every week really hard. You've got to hope that they do the right thing but as we all know sometimes they make decisions that are a little crazy."

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