We can let Shockey walk.
Can't say I'm not impressed with either of our two starting tight ends. However, one could argue that Olsen would still be highly productive without splitting time with Shockey. Shockey's contract will probably end up being 2-3 million dollars, and while that isn't a huge amount, its 2-3 million dollars we could be using on positions of need. Tight End is one of the few positions of depth we have, with guys like Gary Barnidge, Ben Hartsock, and the ever versatile Richie Brockel.
Speaking of Gary Barnidge, he is the X-Factor in whether Shockey returns. Barnidge didn't notch a reception in 2010 or 2008 (rookie year), so he only has one year to really see what he can be.
Gary Barnidge: 12 receptions, 242 yards, 0 touchdowns.
Barnidge averaged a whopping 20.2 yards per catch, with 4 of his receptions being for over 20 yards. Even when he had Jake Delhomme and Matt Moore throwing him the ball, he managed to be a pretty good intermediate/deep threat. Unfortunately he missed all of this year with a broken ankle. Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell, Shockey, Olsen, and even Jonathan Stewart all benefited greatly from the offensive explosion that is Cam Newton. One could reason that Barnidge would also have benefited from the new offense. Barnidge is a fast tight end who just needed a little coaching. I truly believe that Cam won't miss a beat if Barnidge becomes our second tight end. Just my two cents guys, let me know what you think! -C2SAD