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49ers free agency: Determining whether the Niners should re-sign TE Jordan Reed

The veteran tight end played in 10 games during the 2020 season.

Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The new NFL league year officially commences on March 17, which is when teams can officially sign free agents. With up to 40 players up for free agency, the San Francisco 49ers have a lot of work to do between now and then.

One of the players who are up for a new contract is veteran tight end Jordan Reed. The 30-year-old had 26 receptions for 231 yards and four touchdowns for the Niners last season. He missed six weeks after suffering a knee injury in the Week 3 win over the New York Giants.

His most productive game of the season came against the New York Jets, where he caught seven passes for 50 yards and two touchdowns. Reed was signed to a one-year deal worth $1.05 million with less than five weeks to go before the season-opener.

Reed averaged 8.9 yards per reception but had the lowest catch percentage of his career at 56.5, and Pro Football Focus gave him a 66.2 grade. He was thrust into a more prominent role after George Kittle got hurt in the Arizona Cardinals' Week 1 loss.

He was brought in to give San Francisco another pass-catching option at tight end with only Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner behind Kittle. Unfortunately, injuries prevented Kittle and Reed from playing together much during the season. The duo only suited up for two games alongside each other in 2020, both coming against Arizona. Reed only played 16% and 18% of the snaps in the two games he played with Kittle.

The 49ers don’t have much cap space this offseason and will likely allocate most of their available money to re-sign left tackle Trent Williams.

It will depend on how much general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan prioritize the position. Dwelley had his best season out of his three-year career in 2020. He caught 79.2 percent of his targets and finished the season with career-highs in receptions (19) and receiving yards (245). Woerner — sixth-round selection last year — is still learning the NFL game.

Reed’s extensive injury history is a red flag. He has never appeared in all 16 games during his seven seasons and missed the entire 2019 campaign. But he could be a low-cost option for San Francisco, who provides some depth in case Kittle gets hurt again.

Do you think the Niners should re-sign Reed?