Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

49ers had ‘soft talks’ about free-agent tight end Delanie Walker, per report

Jul 28, 2020 at 5:36 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers sound like they really want to take some of the pressure off of their hopefully-soon-to-be-extended All-Pro tight end, George Kittle. Head coach Kyle Shanahan could also be hoping to draw up some plays that utilize two tight ends at once on the football field.

"In addition to inking Kittle to a bigger contract, the team's plan at tight end this offseason involved finding an accomplished backup who could relieve Kittle for stretches of a game," wrote Matt Barrows of The Athletic. "He missed two starts last season after taking a helmet below the knee."

Barrows reports that the 49ers had "soft talks" about a free agent and former Niner, Delanie Walker, during the spring (h/t to Jason Aponte). This wouldn't be the first time news of San Francisco's interest in adding a veteran tight end has come up this offseason.

The 49ers reportedly made a run to add tight end Austin Hooper before he signed with the Cleveland Browns. The team also expressed interest in former Washington tight end Jordan Reed, which was reported in March. Reed remains a free agent.

Walker, of course, started his career in San Francisco. The 49ers made the tight end a sixth-round selection out of Central Missouri in 2006. He registered 21 receptions for 215 yards with two touchdowns through seven games with the Tennessee Titans in 2019.

Walker, 35, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and has caught 504 passes for 5,888 yards with 36 touchdowns through his 14 NFL seasons. He spent his last seven seasons in Tennessee after spending his first seven in San Francisco.

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