Greg Olsen wore No. 88 during his nine-year career with the Panthers from 2011 to 2019, and with Olsen gone in 2020, the Panthers didn’t give the number to anyone else. But Olsen’s number is not being retired.
Rookie wide receiver Terrace Marshall will wear No. 88 for the Panthers in 2021, and Olsen acknowledged he wasn’t thrilled to know the number would be worn again.
“You know I’ll be honest, I had mixed feelings about it. Donnie [Toner] in the [Panthers’] equipment room texted me and kind of gave me a heads up,” Olsen told the Charlotte Observer. “My whole thing was I didn’t want the kid to feel any pressure from me. That was his number [Marshall wore 88 in college]. That’s what he wanted. I’ve heard he’s a great kid. I don’t have any animosity. I’m glad he’s going to wear it and hopefully he’s a great player. I have no ill will.
“I’ll be honest, though — in the beginning I was like: I don’t know. It seemed kind of quick. But that’s the way it goes. I wish nothing but the best for the kid. I was talking to Coach [Matt] Rhule at a golf outing and said, ‘Hey, I hope he [Marshall] plays well. I hope he does great. Just let him know that there’s a lot of balls that have been caught in that number. So you better go out and catch the ball.’”
Olsen caught 524 passes for 6,463 yards and 39 touchdowns while wearing No. 88 for the Panthers.