Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, tight end Delanie Walker is working out with the 49ers on Wednesday. Walker, who opted out of 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, said that he wanted to play again in 2021.
The 49ers working out another tight end can’t be good news for the names on the roster after George Kittle — especially since this is already taking place in June. Then again, the goal is to take some of the workload off Kittle. If you’re going to do that during the season, then it starts in June with practice reps.
Kittle gave glowing reviews last week when he spoke to the media of Daniel Helm, Ross Dwelley, and Charlie Woerner, but those names aren’t scaring anybody. The questions for Walker are what does he have left in the tank, and how many games will he last?
Walker has played 232 regular-season snaps in the past three seasons. He’s 36. In theory, a year off could be good for his body health-wise. But who knows how much juice the once athletically superior Walker has left in the tank.
Walker was healthy in 2017, where he made the Pro Bowl after catching 74 passes for 807 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games. That was four years ago.
Walker’s career is unique if anything. He went from a coveted backup tight end to Vernon Davis on the 49ers that signed a three-year, $6 million extension through the 2012 season in 2008 to nearly tripling that contract come the 2013 season when Walker signed with the Titans. He’d go on to make three Pro Bowls, including an All-Pro nod in the 2015 season.