One position that could be upgraded is the backup tight end spot behind superstar George Kittle. Ross Dwelley had 15 receptions for 91 yards and two scores last season. The Niners also picked Charlie Woerner in the 2020 NFL Draft, but neither Dwelley nor Woerner are known for their playmaking abilities.
There is an intriguing option still available as a free agent, former Washington tight end Jordan Reed. Kyle Madson of Niners Wire stated the case for why the 30-year-old could be a good fit with the 49ers:
“Despite the injuries he’s been an exceptional player from both a traditional stats standpoint and in advanced metrics. In 65 games, Reed has 329 catches for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns. He posted 17 of those touchdowns during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Reed is averaging 11 games per season for his career, and hauls in an average of 55 balls for 562 yards and four touchdowns in those 11 contests. Those numbers far surpass anything a 49ers backup tight end was liable to do next season in 16 games.”
Reed was familiar with head coach Kyle Shanahan’s system due to their one year together in Washington in 2013. The issue with Reed is the injuries. He missed all of last season after suffering a concussion and didn’t suit up in 17 games between 2016 and 2018.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Reed wants to play again next season, and three teams have shown interest in signing him.
One name to watch as teams gear up for training camp: FA TE Jordan Reed. The former Washington play-maker has three teams interested and plans to play in 2020. A potential low-risk, high-reward signing.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 13, 2020
As Madson points out, the Niners ran 12 personnel, or two tight end sets, nearly 32% of the time in 2019, so Reed wouldn’t be a huge part of the offense, but his playmaking abilities make him an interesting option.
If Reed is willing to sign a cheap, one-year incentive-laden deal, do you think general manager John Lynch should try and sign him?