George Kittle

Kyle Shanahan sees Jordan Reed as big 49ers contributor, if healthy

Kyle Shanahan sees Jordan Reed as big 49ers contributor, if healthy

Veteran tight end Jordan Reed seemingly is taking a huge risk with designs on a return to football after sustaining a seventh documented concussion a year ago.

But it is a risk that could pay off big for Reed and the 49ers this season, his first NFL coach said on Monday.

Kyle Shanahan was in his final season as Washington’s offensive coordinator during Reed’s first season after entering the league as a second-round draft pick. Now, Shanahan and Reed are back together after Reed agreed to a one-year contract on Monday.

“I know he hasn’t been on the field for a little bit. I know he’s very hungry to get back out there,” Shanahan said.

“When you have a talented guy who’s hungry to play football, it works out if they can stay healthy. And Jordan has had some bad luck over the years. I know he’s ready to go. I hope he has some good luck here. And if he does, I think it’s going to be a hell of a deal for the Niners and a really good deal for him, also.”

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Reed, 30, has appeared in just 65 games over the past seven seasons with Washington. He has 329 career receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns. His best season came in 2015, when he saw action in 14 games and caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He did not play last season after sustaining a concussion in a preseason game. The Washington Football Team released him in February.

“Everyone is aware of Jordan’s ability,” Shanahan said. “When he’s been healthy, he’s played at an extremely high level. And he’s been one of the first third-down tight ends in the league when he’s been healthy.”

[RELATEDShanahan optimistic 49ers, Kittle will get contract done]

Shanahan said he typically likes to bring six tight ends to training camp. It was a little more difficult this summer because teams have to trim to 80 players instead of the usual 90-man limits. But the 49ers found a way to add Reed, who figures to join a competition to become George Kittle’s backup.

Reed will compete with Ross Dwelley, Daniel Helm and sixth-round draft pick Charlie Woerner for the backup job.

“It's well-documented that he’s had multiple concussions prior,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “So in situations like this, there’s a reason that a guy like Jordan Reed is out there, right? There is some risk-reward. We got to a point where we felt the risk that we’re taking on was worth it with the potential reward.”

Kyle Shanahan optimistic 49ers, George Kittle will get contract done

Kyle Shanahan optimistic 49ers, George Kittle will get contract done

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan finally had a chance to see and talk with 49ers All-Pro tight end George Kittle in person on Monday.

After the 49ers’ veterans passed coronavirus (COVID-19) testing over the past five days, players were allowed to come into the team's headquarters in Santa Clara and have socially distanced communication with other members of the organization.

Kittle is in Santa Clara despite not coming to terms with a new long-time contract. Both sides recognize the importance of getting a new deal for Kittle, who is scheduled to make $2.133 million in the final year of his original four-year contract.

“We’re working diligently to come to a resolution,” Lynch said of the team’s negotiations with Kittle’s agent, Jack Bechta.

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Lynch said Monday he and Shanahan visited separately with Kittle.

“We’ve tried to be respectful of the player-agent thing, but it’s always nice just to talk with the player,” Lynch said. “ I think there’s a great understanding that we’re in this thing together, we’re partners, to try to get something done because it makes too much sense not to.”

Kittle’s next contract will certainly make him the highest-paid tight end in the league. Currently, Austin Hooper of Cleveland has the league’s top multi-year contract at $10.5 million a year.

[RELATEDReed, 49ers reach agreement on one-year contract, Lynch confirms]

“We don’t have to say how important George is to us,” Shanahan said. “Not only being the best tight end, to me, in the league, but also the type of person he is. We’re doing everything we can to get that done. I do feel good about it. It was great to see George today for the first time.

“It was great to see George again today. No one’s changed, and I feel really good about this going forward and I’m optimistic about it. Hopefully, something will happen sooner than later. I’m not too concerned about it, though.”

Jordan Reed, 49ers reach agreement on one-year contract, John Lynch says

Jordan Reed, 49ers reach agreement on one-year contract, John Lynch says

The 49ers reached a contract agreement Monday with a tight end not named George Kittle.

The 49ers agreed to a one-year deal with former Washington Football Team tight end Jordan Reed, 30, who has not played in the regular season since the 2018 season. Injuries have plagued Reed throughout his six-year playing career. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Reed's contract with the 49ers is an incentive-laden.

General manager John Lynch said the team weighed the risks with Reed's injury history and deterimed the reward made the signing the right move for the 49ers.

Reed's best season came in 2015, when he appeared in a career-high 14 games. He caught 87 for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Reed sustained his seventh documented concussion in August 2019 in Washington’s third preseason game. He did not play in any games last season, and Washington released him in February.

Reed played his rookie season of 2013 with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who was Washington’s offensive coordinator from 2010 to ’13. He was a third-round draft pick from Florida.

[RELATEDHow Charlie Woerner won George Kittle over early in 49ers tenure]

Reed joins a group of 49ers tight ends that includes All-Pro George Kittle, whose agent still is in negotiations with the 49ers for a lucrative, long-term contract. Ross Dwelley, Daniel Helm and rookies Charlie Woerner and Chase Harrell are the other tight ends on the 49ers’ roster.

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