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Lynch praises Ward; 49ers should have their eye on XFL TE Donald Parham

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Parham would be an ideal TE2

New York Guardians v Dallas Renegades Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have officially re-signed safety Jimmie Ward to a three-year deal, signed LB Joe Walker to a one-year deal, and that exclusive rights free agent TE Ross Dwelley signed his one-year tender. Dwelley was tendered a one-year contract on March 5, 2020. General manager John Lynch spoke highly of Ward:

“Jimmie has proven to possess many of the characteristics we are looking for in a 49er, and we are excited to keep him in red and gold. His no-nonsense passion for the game amplifies his special physical abilities, while also setting a tone for our defense. This extension allows Jimmie to continue to grow in our defense and we look forward to seeing where he can take his game.”

Ward was one of the most enjoyable players to watch for me last season, so I’m glad he is back with the team.

The Dwelley tender had me thinking of possible upgrades at tight end. The XFL had a tight end from the Dallas Renegades named Donald Parham, who went undrafted out of Stetson and had a brief stint in the NFL with Detriot and Washington before going to the XFL. The 6-foot-8, yes, you read that right, tight end ranked third in the XFL in receiving yards. Parham had 307 yards on 24 receptions. He also scored the second-most touchdowns in the season. Check out his XFL highlights:

Parham is 22-years-old. You can see from his highlights above that he can outrun second-level defenders. The NFL is a significant jump in talent, but Parham ran a 4.67 40-yard dash and had a 38.5” vertical. He’s an explosive athlete. In the first clip, he’s clocked at running over 21 mph. That’s Raheem Mostert/Matt Breida territory.

Kyle Shanahan is obsessed with skill players that can run, and Parham fits the description. The 49ers found Daniel Brunskill and Damontre Moore from the AAF last offseason. Parham could be this year’s diamond in the rough.