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A deeper look at the 49ers signing of WR Chris Harper

The San Francisco 49ers have signed wide receiver Chris Harper. We break down the potential role he could fill.

Otto Greule Jr

The San Francisco 49ers signing of Seahawks practice squad wide receiver Chris Harper appears to be just about official at this point. The team has not announced it, but after Adam Schefter reported it this morning, Matt Maiocco has his own source confirming the deal is done. The deal was held up as the Seahawks reportedly were trying to retain Harper. Teams will sometimes offer pay increases for practice squad players, but it clearly was not enough.

The reports now from both Seattle media and 49ers media is that Harper would be looked at in a potential Delanie Walker h-back kind of role. The 49ers drafted Vance McDonald to replace Walker as the No. 2 tight end, but he is still working on his blocking. The addition of Harper in this kind of role could very well spell the end of Garrett Celek's time on the roster.

This officially makes roster building a more interesting task. The 49ers like guys that can play multiple positions, and Harper could put himself in just such a position. As a sixth wide receiver, he would have potentially seen very little playing time. In an h-back, "Swiss Army Knife" kind of role, Harper is looking at a lot more options. The 49ers do love their extra tight ends, after all.