The news that tight end Vernon Davis paid a free agency visit to Redskins Park raised some eyebrows. Besides his age (32) and his lackluster 2015 season (a combined 38 receptions for 395 yards and no touchdowns for the 49ers and Broncos) the Redskins seem to be pretty well set at the tight end position. They have Jordan Reed as their starter and Niles Paul should be recovered from his ankle injury in time for OTAs. Derek Carrier suffered a torn ACL in December so his status is up in the air but he could be ready for the start of the season.
Then on Friday the Redskins re-signed Logan Paulsen, who missed all of 2015 with a toe injury. They also have Marcel Jensen, who was signed off of the Bills’ practice squad last year. He is more of a project that a sure thing but he will be in competition for a spot on the Redskins 53-man roster.
So to sum it up there’s Reed, Paul, Carrier, Paulsen, Jensen, the possibility of Davis, plus the draft next month. Why are the Redskins collecting tight ends when it seems that the roster is full.?
Why would the Redskins look at a possible fourth tight end, whether it ends up being Carrier, Jensen, Davis, another free agent, or a draft pick? Because there is an opening on the roster that will allow the Redskins to keep an additional tight end.
On Monday we got the news that the Redskins will not re-sign fullback Darrel Young. The Redskins only used him seven offensive snaps per game last year. They are not moving on from Young because they don’t like Young. They just don’t need a fullback. So they will keep another player and, like many NFL teams, go without anyone at the fullback position.
A logical place to use that open roster spot is a tight end. While you’re not going to see any of the current tight ends lining up in the backfield in situations where the Redskins might have used a fullback in the past they could line up with an extra tight end in an H-back type of role.
They also could use another tailback to fill that extra spot. But the Redskins could also go with only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and carry their third on the practice squad so that extra tight end roster spot may be available.
The point is that it’s a fluid situation and Scot McCloughan wants to be ready to react to however things shake out. If they decide they want a fourth tight end he will be ready.