Greg Olsen has reported for duty.
The Panthers tight end appeared at the team facility on Tuesday and made it clear he has no plans to hold out.
Telling reporters that he “will play out” his contract, Olsen talked about putting the team first following a chaotic week that saw the Panthers fire general manager David Gettleman.
“At the end of the day it really came down to with everything going on, obviously now with the transition to [interim GM] Marty [Hurney], kind of the slight chaos that went around for another week I didn’t think that it was right to add fuel to that fire,” Olsen said, per NFL Network’s Tiffany Blackmon. “Make things that much more complicated, add any more distraction or controversy to our team.”
Scheduled to make $6.5 million both this season and next, Olsen pondered a holdout earlier this summer amid whispers that Gettleman was “not interested” in extending the 32-year-old pass-catcher.
Olsen’s fortunes could change, though, with former Panthers GM Marty Hurney back in that role on an interim basis. Hurney just doled out a big-money contract for guard Trai Turner and could be eyeing a new deal for Olsen next.
From that angle, it makes plenty of sense for Olsen to play nice with the front office in hopes he’ll be handsomely rewarded before Week 1.
Rookie quarterbacks pinball through their first season so rapidly that defining incremental progress is difficult.
For Deshaun Watson in Houston, that means not really knowing when he’s ready to start. In that way, having a coach be the ultimate decision-maker is helpful.
“Honestly, whenever Coach [Bill O'Brien] and the coaches feel like I’m ready to go [I'll be ready],” Watson told NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan on Tuesday at the Gatorade awards. “The team feels like they can operate with me behind the wheel and being the quarterback. It’s gonna take time, it’s gonna be a process, really no rush. Just kinda taking it one day at a time, and whenever that time comes, I’ll be ready.”
All three first-round prospects have some type of significant buffer between them and an opening day start. Mitchell Trubisky might have the best chance out of all three (Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City being the other) to actually beat the placeholder veteran ahead of him during training camp. The Texans have done nothing to shake the notion that Tom Savage will lead the Texans out of the tunnel in early September.
In that way, Watson is part of the most significant case study on the sit-and-wait theory in recent years. Teams obsess over the methodical Aaron Rodgers grooming process behind Brett Favre in Green Bay but ultimately succumb to their reality — if the team is not winning with a veteran, there is no reason not to play the potential future of the franchise. In Houston, it is at least comforting to know that Watson is on board for whatever O’Brien has planned — even if that means being told he’s ready instead of deciding that for himself.