Not content with one elite tight end, the Niners added another Monday with the addition of one-time Pro Bowler Jordan Reed. Per Adam Schefter, Reed has agreed to a one-year, “incentive-laden” deal with San Francisco, reuniting him with former Washington offensive coordinator and current 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. The seven-year vet led Washington in catches as recently as 2018 but sat out all of last season while recovering from lingering concussion symptoms.
Reed’s concerning history of head injuries—he’s suffered at least seven documented concussions—led some to wonder if we’d ever see him back on an NFL gridiron. However, the 30-year-old Connecticut native still has a strong desire to play and clearly feels he can contribute to a Niners team with Super Bowl aspirations.
If Reed can perform at the level he did for so many years under Jay Gruden in Washington, he could be a nice get for the reigning NFC Champs. With Deebo Samuel (foot) likely to miss a chunk of the season, San Francisco needs as much help as it can get in the pass-catching department. Now equipped with Reed and “The People’s Tight End” George Kittle, we could see the 49ers employ more 12 personnel in 2020.
While it’s nice to see Reed land on his feet after being kicked to the curb by Washington, it’s debatable whether this should have happened. Many (myself included) would have preferred to see Reed walk away rather than risk further damage to his brain. Of course, athletes, particularly NFL players, have a relatively short earning window and you can’t blame Reed for wanting to put his family in a better financial situation.
Maybe it all works out and Reed achieves Super Bowl glory as a key component of Shanahan’s grand scheme in San Francisco. However it plays out, let’s just hope he stays safe.