NFL: NJ native Greg Olsen announces retirement, joins Fox Sports

The North Jersey native partook in 14 NFL seasons, mostly with Carolina. He will take up analyst duties with Fox Sports full-time.

New Jersey native and NFL tight end Greg Olsen announced his retirement from on-field endeavors on Sunday. Olsen made the announcement during Fox’s pregame show prior to the NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His NFL career ends with 8,683 yards on 742 receptions, 60 of which went for touchdowns.

Olsen, 35, was born in Paterson and raised in Wayne. He gained national recognition at Wayne Hills High School, playing under his father Chris before embarking on a three-year career at Miami. During his career in Coral Gables, Olsen starred alongside fellow future NFL stars like Frank Gore, Devin Hester, and Calais Campbell.

The Chicago Bears chose Olsen with the 31st overall pick on the 2007 NFL Draft. Olsen made an immediate impact, winning the team’s Brian Piccolo Award bestowed to a rookie and veteran who “best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication, and sense of humor of the late Bears running back”.

Olsen was dealt to the Carolina Panthers in 2011. He would spend a majority of his career in Charlotte, earning strong reviews for both his receiving and blocking, His Carolina career closed in 2019 upon his release. He currently ranks third in Panthers history in receptions (524) and yardage (6,463), both of which are the best tallies for a tight end in team history. Olsen was nominated for three Pro Bowls (2014-16) and a pair of All-Pro honors (2015-16). After the 2015 season, Olsen partook in the Panthers’ run to Super Bowl 50. He notably earned a team-best 113 yards on six receptions in the Panthers’ 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC title game. For his efforts with the Panthers, Pro Football Focus also named Olsen to its all-2010s team.

Following his release from the Panthers, Olsen partook in one final season with Seattle, earning 239 yards on 24 receptions this season. Over the most recent offseason, Olsen called XFL games for Fox Sports, having previously signed a deal to join the network upon his retirement.

Olsen was the second player from Wayne Hills to partake in NFL football, joining former defensive end Ryan Neill, who played four seasons in Buffalo, St. Louis, and San Diego.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags