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49ers sign Jordan Reed to incentive-laden deal [report]

© Geoff Burke | 2018 Sep 16

Kyle Shanahan reunites with another standout player from his time in Washington. This time, it’s tight end Jordan Reed, who, before a series of devastating and at one point, potentially career-ending concussions which caused him to miss the entirety of the 2019 season — along with teammate Trent Williams, who sat out the season following a trade request — was widely viewed as one of the league’s elite tight ends.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Reed, now 30, agreed to a one-year deal that is heavy on incentives.

Reed had cap hits of $10,206,250 and $9,674,125 in 2018 and 2019, respectively, per OverTheCap.

The 49ers have been in need of a backup tight end since Levine Toilolo departed for the New York Giants this offseason. Toilolo wasn’t exactly stellar, but was a reliably large veteran blocking presence. Besides George Kittle, the 49ers’ tight end room consisted of the occasionally spectacular, but inconsistent Ross Dwelley, practice squad signee from last year Daniel Helm, and fifth-round draft pick Charlie Woerner. None, at this point, are reliable options outside of Kittl.

And with Mike Silver of NFL Network reporting there’s a “pretty significant disconnect” between Kittle’s side and the 49ers right now, a veteran presence was all the more necessary.

Reed is far from reliable, having played just 19 games over the last three seasons. When healthy, though, he was a 2016 Pro Bowler and caught for 952 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2015. Solid backups at a discount price are far and few between, especially at the tight end position. Reed comes with the massive caveat of having health concerns, but if he’s anywhere near who he used to be, it would be a steal for the 49ers.


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