NBCChicago.com’s Peggy Kusinski is reporting that Bears TE Greg Olsen is looking to shoot his way out of town, and that totally makes sense.
Why? Because of new Chicago OC Mike Martz and, more specifically, his methods of employing the tight end. Over the last 11 years, Martz has run 10 offenses, and the most impressive single-season statistical line posted in that time by a Martz tight end was the epic 2001 campaign of Ernie Conwell, who caught 38 balls for 431 yards and four touchdowns. (Wait, you don’t remember that?) More recently, Vernon Davis had 31 catches for 358 yards and two scores under Martz’s tutelage in 2008, then exploded for 78, 965 and 13 last year.
The Bears might be motivated to move, too, since their first draft pick doesn’t come up until the third round (Their 1 went to Denver for Jay Cutler and their 2 was dealt for the late Gaines Adams). So it’s popped up that a second-round pick could be the price for Olsen. And the Cardinals and Patriots were mentioned as potential landing spots in Kusinski’s report.
Since Benjamin Watson’s readying a run at free agency, the timing might be right for such a trade, and the Patriots have three second-round picks to dangle.
But here’s my question: If Olsen’s got an issue with the way tight ends are used by Martz, would it be much different here? Over the last 10 years, the Patriots have had four tight ends catch 30-or-more balls in a season (Watson did it twice, as did Daniel Graham), and only one has had more than 40 catches or 500 yards — that was Watson a 49-catch, 643-yard, 3-touchdown season in 2006. That was the year, of course, when the Patriots had all kinds of issues at receiver.
So my guess (particularly with this draft being as strong as it is) is that this is a long-shot. I’d like to know, though, what you guys think of the possibility of Olsen coming here … So fill up the comments section with that.