Greg Olsen reunited with his former teammate, Bears’ running back Matt Forte, to host the 9th annual Kicks for a Cure Kickball Tournament this past weekend.
Returning to Grant Park was not difficult for the Panthers’ tight end, who was focused on the tournament, partnered by TMC, a division of CH Robinson. The event gathered 60 teams, the largest tournament in the world.
The funds went to Olsen’s cancer charity Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation, which he founded in 2009. He was inspired by his mother, a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed 11 years ago.
Proceeds are donated to all different kinds of cancer research aimed at find a cure and giving people a second chance. For this one Saturday, Olsen played with Forte and Colt’s quarterback Drew Stanton, as well as family members. It was a reunion far away from the stress of franchise tags and contract negotiations.
Olsen was traded last year for a third round draft pick when former offensive coordinator Mike Martz decided Olsen did not fit into his offensive strategies for the 2011 season. He was selected by the Bears 31st overall in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. The Bears opted out of re-signing Olsen after his five year contract expired.
Although Olsen has comfortably settled with the Panthers, becoming a favorite target for Cam Newton, he expressed his concerns regarding Forte’s situation.
According to the Suntimes, Olsen stated: “I hope it works out…He’s been such a good, consistent player for them for so long, you would like to see them take care of their own, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The last couple of years, they really haven’t done that with their draft picks.”
Hoping for the best for Forte, Olsen seemed to have moved on from his trade last year. Instead of being bitter, Olsen had a few nice things to say about Bears’ tight end Kellen Davis as well.
It’s easy for him to be gracious, since Olsen is in a much better situation now in Carolina. With Rookie of the Year Cam Newton throwing him the ball, Olsen had 45 catches for 540 yards last season. The only Bear with more than 45 catches last season was Forte.
All Olsen is focused on now is the 2012 season.
By Cheri Cheng