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Bears Trade Olsen to Panthers

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jul 29, 2011 4:40PM

2011_07_greg_olsen.jpg As we mentioned yesterday, the Bears seemed hell bent on moving tight end Greg Olsen despite his obvious talent and his bond with quarterback Jay Cutler. Late yesterday afternoon, Halas Hall announced that the former first round pick was headed to the Carolina Panthers in return for a third round pick.

In trading Olsen, the Bears made a huge mistake by trading away a capable pass receiver because the current offensive coordinator doesn't like passing to tight ends. Never mind that Mike Martz utilizes a pass-focused offense and has few capable wideouts (does adding Roy Williams improve them that much?) for his quarterback to target. A true offensive mastermind would figure out how to evolve his system to benefit from a player of Olsen's caliber. Instead, GM Jerry Angelo caved to Martz's wishes, even as there's no indication that Martz is in the Bears' plans long term.

Angelo was quite busy on Thursday purging the tight ends on the Bears' roster. He also released Brandon Manumaleuna and signed former Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth, known more for his blocking than receiving. With Desmond Clark not in the team's plans, only Kellen Davis remains from last year's tight end corp. In a complex system, wholesale turnover at a position seems foolish and curious to many. Said one NFL personnel director, in expressing surprise at the deal, "He easily is one of the 10 most talented receiving tight ends in the league." We fully expect him to prove that with the Panthers.