LA Rams rival, the Seattle Seahawks, will sign former Panthers tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year deal worth $7 million. The move is likely more psychological than impactful
The LA Rams must brace for the wave of mixed emotions about to arrive via the NFL Free Agency market. The 2020 NFL Free Agency season has a month before arriving, but the Seattle Seahawks have wasted no time in getting the jump on rounding out their roster and will sign former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen. The Seahawks have needs which nearly mirror those of the Los Angeles Rams, according to NFL Spin Zone writer Samuel Teets. Per his view, the Seahawks need an interior offensive lineman, wide receiver, cornerback, defensive end, and offensive tackle. With the exception of wide receiver and safety versus cornerback, the list could be written for the Rams.
So the Seahawks wasted no time in addressing their urgent need of … tight-end? Well, give them credit for seizing upon an opportunity to sign on an NFL veteran who has been rather productive in the past. It wasn’t a need, but adding another receiver threat on their offense is never a bad thing.
And the Seahawks have money to throw around, with an estimated $51.5 million cap surplus as of February 18, 2020, per OverTheCap.com
How will this impact the Rams in 2020?
While Olsen has struggled to remain healthy for the past three seasons, he has maintained his average of 11.8 yards per catch over that period. Statistically, Olsen becomes the Seahawks’ third most dangerous receiver, hauling in 597 yards in 2019. The Seahawks have a promising young tight end in Will Dissly who cannot stay healthy. Their other tight end, Jacob Hollister, is not a threat in the passing game. Now that the Seahawks have added Olsen, he could be a second tight end receiver, as well as insurance should Dissly fall to injury in 2020.
The LA Rams handled Olsen well in their early 2019 matchup, holding him to just four catches for 36 total yards. In 2016, the Rams allowed him to catch 5 passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. That’s actually not bad. The Seahawks will likely employ Olsen in their committee approach to the tight end position.
Rams still hold the tight end edge, but Seahawks score the first blow
Signing Olsen does not improve the Seahawks much by itself. But it does limit the team’s decline should the team face another untimely injury to tight-end.
The Rams will still boast the better tight end tandem with tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett, but the Seahawks have closed the gap slightly. While this means little to the LA Rams’ immediate plans, it does emphasize the disparity of the Seahawks’ ability to spend at will, while the Rams must adhere to an austerity plan until they successfully restructure some of the burdensome contracts.
Does this move make you nervous? This was just a minor signing by the Seahawks, who will no doubt be signing multiple marquis players in free agency. In the rush to get into the 2019 playoffs, Rams’ general manager Les Snead handed out lucrative contracts to players whose 2019 performance noticeably declined.
Buckle up fans. NFL news will heat up rapidly, and there will be days, maybe weeks, where you will worry how the Rams will fare in 2020. But the first dollars spent are not the wisest dollars. The Seahawks have made the first signing. Don’t anoint any as the best signing until pre-season begins.