CHARLOTTE – The trade in 2011 that sent tight end Greg Olsen from Chicago to Carolina in exchange for a third-round draft choice has worked out wonderfully for the Panthers.
"We got exactly what we thought we were going to get and more," head coach Ron Rivera said.
Olsen has already played against the Bears twice since the trade, but the storyline resurfaced when former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo recently admitted on Chicago sports radio that making the trade was a mistake.
"To be honest, I've been over that for a long time," Olsen said. "I couldn't be happier with the way things worked out. At the time, being a young guy being traded from a team where you were a key contributor was something that didn't exactly sit great. But that was a long time ago. It's not really something I think back to very much.
"I appreciate him saying that. He was the guy who drafted me, gave me a chance in this league," Olsen added. "It's better than him saying, 'We're glad we traded him because he stinks.'"
Olsen, who is tied with wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the team lead in receptions with 21, is establishing himself as the best tight end in franchise history.
In 2012, Olsen compiled 69 catches and 844 receiving yards – both team records by a tight end. In 2013, he set a new record with 73 catches to go along with 816 receiving yards. And Olsen, who has never missed a game as a Panther, has recorded 18 touchdown receptions so far for Carolina.
"He's the consummate pro and he's done a great job," Rivera said. "The last two years, Greg has done nothing but get better and better. Having career years back-to-back, setting team records – that's pretty phenomenal."
Said Olsen: "(The Bears) didn't want me. Fortunately, the Panthers did and I'm still here, so it worked out."