Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
The San Francisco 49ers have been working overtime looking at ways of overhauling their tight end depth chart. The team entered the offseason with Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Blake Bell, and Je’Ron Hamm at the position. The made three notable additions, signing veteran Logan Paulsen, drafting George Kittle, and signing rookie free agent Cole Hikutini.
Paulsen was part of the team’s first haul of free agents when the new league year opened. He joined the team after spending his first six seasons with Washington, and 2016 with Chicago. Paulsen signed with Washington as a UDFA in 2010, and between 2010 and 2014, he appeared in 75 games (42 starts), and had 79 receptions for 801 yards and six touchdowns. He spent 2015 on injured reserve, and then was released at the end of 2016 training camp. He signed with the Chicago Bears and appeared in all 16 games, with 12 starts. He finished the season with three receptions for 15 yards.
Paulsen played with Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in Chicago last season, but most notably, he spent significant time with Kyle Shanahan in Washington. Shanahan took over as Washington’s in 2010, and worked with Paulsen and the offense through the 2013 season. In 2013, Paulsen had career highs in receptions (28) and receiving touchdowns (three). His career high in receiving yards (308) occurred in 2012.
Experience: 7 accrued seasons
Weight: 268 lbs
Signed one-year deal worth $1 million. He receives a $775,000 base salary, a $125,000 signing bonus, and a $100,000 roster bonus.
Why he might improve in 2017
Paulsen is primarily a blocking tight end, but he has several advantages heading into training camp. First, he knows what Kyle Shanahan likes, or at least liked in Washington. And while he did not put up huge numbers there, he saw increases in production each year. Second, he has some experience with the 49ers starting and backup quarterback. He focused almost exclusively on blocking last season in Chicago, but a little chemistry is of some use.
Why he might regress in 2017
There’s a lot of bodies competing for opportunities. Paulsen seems to have a fairly defined role, but there is likely a relatively low ceiling to what we can expect from him. He turned 30 this year, so how he holds up will be something to watch.
Odds of making the roster
Like most players on the roster, I doubt Paulsen is a lock. However, he seems like a pretty strong bubble guy. I’m thinking better than 75 percent. He is only signed to a one-year deal, but he’s a Shanahan guy, so I would be surprised to see him released. We’ve seen there are no guarantees if a better option presents himself, but I think Paulsen will be sticking around this year.