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Carolina Panthers

Greg Olsen joining Thomas Davis for dual retirement ceremony

Greg Olsen

The Panthers were hoping to find a reliable receiving target for their rookie quarterback when they traded a third-round pick to the Bears in 2011.

They got so much more than that.

All Greg Olsen did with the Panthers was achieve something no one else at his position ever had, and helped lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance.

Olsen tweeted out word Thursday morning that he'd be joining Thomas Davis next week for a joint retirement ceremony. Davis announced Wednesday night that he was signing a one-day contract to retire with the Panthers.

Technically, Olsen can't say that much since the Seahawks haven't officially released him.

But the 35-year-old is already set to embark on a television career with Fox, so it's a matter of time.

While he spent last year with the Seahawks and his first four with the Bears, Olsen flourished when he came to Carolina, in more ways than one.

Not only did he have three straight seasons of 1,000 receiving yards — something no other tight end had done — he became an advocate and a part of his new community.

All three of his Pro Bowls came with the Panthers (2014-16), as he combined for 3,185 receiving yards during that span, leading the way as the 2015 Panthers went 15-1.

His impact off the field was equally impressive. Olsen turned the unfortunate diagnosis of his son's congenital heart condition into a chance to share his good fortune, using his foundation to establish the HEARTest Yard Fund along with Atrium Health, to help other families of infants with similar diagnoses.

One of the steadiest and most reliable players in franchise history, Olsen finished his 14-year career with 742 receptions for 8,683 yards and 60 touchdowns.

But stats can't describe the impact he made on a young locker room, and a community.

Olsen played nine seasons in Carolina and finished his career ranked third all-time in receiving yards and receptions in franchise history and first among tight ends.

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