The move Greg Olsen and Fox Sports have been projecting for years is now official, according to the New York Post. The 35-year-old tight end will join the network as an NFL analyst on its TV broadcasts as soon as he retires from his playing career.
Olsen signed a one-year contract with the Seahawks in February a couple of weeks after the Panthers released him. According to the Post, he will be Fox’s No. 2 game analyst and will be paired with play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt. Even if Olsen plays more football beyond 2020, Fox will wait for him, per the report.
Olsen for years has been making guest appearances as an analyst on Fox’s football broadcasts, clearly preparing for a post-playing career move to the booth. It was a bit of an issue in 2017, when he was tabbed to call a Vikings-Rams game while the Panthers were on a bye and when Olsen was on injured reserve with a foot injury. Minnesota, which was scheduled to play Olsen’s team later in the season, feared the tight end would gain too much information about the Panthers’ future opponent while working the game.
After denying the Vikings’ request to make Olsen work a different game, Fox limited the amount of pre-game access he had with the Vikings.
Olsen also partnered with Burkhardt to call Fox’s XFL games early this year before the league folded amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
When he joins Fox, Olsen will replace Charles Davis as Fox’s No. 2 analyst after Davis left for the same role at CBS. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman still form Fox’s No. 1 NFL broadcast duo. Daryl (Moose) Johnston will hold down Olsen’s spot in 2020.
In a way, Fox tabbing a current NFL player to be on deck for one of its TV analyst roles is following the lead of NBC, which has a similar agreement with Drew Brees. The 41-year-old Saints quarterback once he retires from his playing career will call some Notre Dame football games before moving to NFL broadcasts and potentially replacing current analyst Cris Collinsworth down the line.
Olsen, who was selected by the Bears in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, was traded to the Panthers in 2011. His nine seasons in Carolina featured three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from 2014 to 2016.
Olsen was tempted to retire after the Panthers released him, but he figured at least one more go with the Seahawks was worth a shot.
“It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Olsen said of the signing. “Their track record of success, consistency of winning. I’ve played in this city many times, and just the fanbase, the excitement, that stadium is one of the more unique venues in all of sports. And obviously Coach (Pete) Carroll, playing with somebody like Russell (Wilson), it just checks so many boxes I was looking for, and I’m confident I can just come in and do my part and help try to put (us) over the edge.”
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