Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Niner Recruiter: Pierre Garçon pitches 49ers to TE Niles Paul

Mar 7, 2018 at 12:04 PM--

There's been no word whether or not the San Francisco 49ers will be interested in Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul, who is scheduled to become a free agent next week. If he were to end up with the 49ers, former teammate Pierre Garçon might welcome him with open arms.

By judging the tone of a recent tweet, it certainly sounds like Paul won't return to Washington in 2018. He is one of Washington's longest-tenured players and a captain on special teams.

Garçon, now a wide receiver for the 49ers, did his best on Wednesday to sell Paul on a reunion in San Francisco.

Paul has been a vital contributor on special teams for Washington, the team that selected him out of Nebraska in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He switched from his college position of wide receiver to tight end in 2012 and even received playing time as a backup fullback.

In 2015, Paul signed a three-year, $10 million deal to remain with Washington but did not play that year after sustaining a season-ending ankle fracture dislocation in the preseason. In 2016, another injury — this time a knee injury suffered during Week 8 — once again landed him on injured reserve. Paul started eight games in 2017 but missed two after suffering a concussion in October while playing fullback against the Dallas Cowboys.

Paul's best statistical season came in 2014 when he appeared in 16 games, started seven, and recorded 39 receptions for 507 yards with a touchdown. Over his career, the tight end has registered 68 catches for 856 yards with two touchdowns.

This isn't the first time Garçon has attempted to recruit for the 49ers. Following New England's Super Bowl LII loss, the veteran receiver pitched the 49ers to Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who is also scheduled to become a free agent.

The 49ers currently have tight ends George Kittle and Garrett Celek on the roster. Undrafted rookie Cole Hikutini ended the 2017 season on injured reserve after suffering an MCL injury in November against the Arizona Cardinals and veteran Logan Paulsen, who was acquired on the first day of free agency last year, is scheduled to hit the open market next week. In January, the 49ers signed tight end Cole Wick to a reserve/future contract.

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