Olsen On Ramsey: "We're Entering Really Dangerous Territory"​

Greg Olsen shared his thoughts on Jalen Ramsey's power play, Carolina's brewing quarterback controversy and a 17-game schedule, among other topics

The DA Show
October 17, 2019 - 10:15 am
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Panthers tight end Greg Olsen dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to discuss numerous topics, including Cam Newton, a 17-game schedule, and Jalen Ramsey’s trade to the Los Angeles Rams.

We’ll start with Ramsey, who very much forced his way out of Jacksonville by, well, refusing to play.

“I think we’re entering into a really dangerous territory,” Olsen said on The DA Show. “It’s a really difficult situation. I think we’ve seen a few guys attempt it. Some have worked. It worked, so to speak, with Antonio Brown until things got kind of more of a legal issue. We saw Melvin Gordon try to do it; it did not work. Now we saw Jalen Ramsey, and it did work. It kind of resembled a little bit more of the leverage that some of the NBA guys have. As players, it’s great. I just think for the league, to just have some of your top players just literally put their feet in the ground and say ‘We’re not going to play until you get rid of me and let me go to a team I want to play for’ – is just a real slippery slope.”

Of course, players with Ramsey’s ability are few and far between.

“I think the fortunate reality is I think only a few guys have that leverage and only a few guys have that power,” Olsen said. “It’s going to take one team to call your bluff and say, ‘Well, you’re either going to play here, or you’re not going to play at all.’ I think that’s when guys are going to have a really tough decision.”

While the Rams (3-3) have lost three straight games, the Panthers (4-2) have won four in a row thanks to MVP-level play with Christian McCaffrey, who may have more room to roam with Kyle Allen at quarterback.

Is there anything to that?

“I think Christian is good with anybody,” Olsen said. “I think Christian obviously is a unique and talented guy and what he’s able to do in space – I just think those first couple of weeks we didn’t see Cam really healthy and be able to be the factor he could be with the run game and his movement. He wasn’t healthy in that regard. We weren’t seeing a typical Cam Newton that we’ve been accustomed to seeing.”

It’ll be interesting to see what the Panthers do once Newton is fully healthy. Will they actually bench Allen, who has seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in four games this season?

“I think the biggest thing is when he’s healthy,” Olsen said of Newton. “Our biggest concern when he stepped away for a few weeks after the Tampa game, he knew, the team knew, they had great dialogue about, ‘We got to get his foot right.’ He was battling. He was giving us everything that he had. It just was getting in the way of him playing to the level that he’s accustomed to. When that time comes, the powers to be will handle that. But until Cam feels himself, is back at practice, is moving around, running around the way we’ve seen him for nine years now, I think at that moment is when the decision has to be made. Anything prior to that is just really speculation.”

As for the NFL’s push for a 17-game schedule, Olsen isn’t opposed.

“I think I would be open to it,” he said. “The reality is are you going to be compensated for the extra time? I think there are some ways they can adjust preseason. I think we see a lot of injuries, and I think we see a lot of wear and tear on guys during training camp or preseason games, joint practices. I think there’s got to be some sort of common ground that we find prior to the season even starting. I think that’s something that they can focus on. But playing 17 games, if the salary cap is adjusted and it led to more revenues and it led to more money being spread throughout the league and benefits and all the things that guys fight for, then yeah, I don’t think going from 16 to 17 would be too big of a burden, especially if you consider adjusting what we do in July and August. I definitely think there’s some common ground we can find. I know personally I would not be opposed to it.”