The San Francisco 49ers signed former Washington tight end Jordan Reed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Reed reached agreement on an incentive-laden, one-year deal with Niners. Reed is 30, has a history of concussions, but when he’s healthy, Reed was one of the most electric tight ends in football.
Reed is familiar with the 49ers playbook having played under Shanahan should help with the learning curve as camp opens. Reed has to prove that he can stay healthy, but he provides another weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo, and this allows San Francisco to lean on an experienced weapon as opposed to the youth at wide receiver. Running more 12, 22, and 13 personnel won’t take away from the 49ers explosive plays, but will also protect Jimmy G.
This could also be a sign of how the team feels about Ross Dwelley, a fan favorite that just isn’t as productive as he’s made out to be. Dwelley’s DVOA in 2019 was -21.1% while averaging 2.7 yards after the catch.
Reed made the Pro Bowl as recently as 2016, but injuries have been a concern. Per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, the 49ers had to compete with the Ravens to sign Reed. Signing Reed provided he’s healthy, will allow the 49ers to take Kittle off the field. Kittle was playing late in games during blowouts during the regular season. While many are focused on San Francisco becoming “the Patriots part II,” that may still be true—the signing of Reed allows Kittle to rest. The 49ers will need to release a player before Reed’s deal becomes official.