Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan comment on the ‘risk-reward’ of 49ers signing Jordan Reed

Aug 3, 2020 at 1:49 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers signed tight end Jordan Reed to what was reported to be an incentive-laden one-year deal. He adds some experienced veteran depth behind George Kittle and could ease the All-Pro tight end's workload during the upcoming season.

General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters on Monday afternoon via a Zoom conference call and were asked about the signing. Specifically, they were asked about Reed's concussion history and what he brings to the team.

Last season, Reed suffered his seventh known concussion during his NFL career, forcing him to miss the entirety of his 2019 campaign with Washington.

"On the health, it's well-documented he's had multiple concussions prior," Lynch said. "So, there's always, in situations like this, there's a reason a guy like Jordan Reed is out there, right? So 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. That's where we're at."

Shanahan worked one year with Reed when the 49ers coach was the offensive coordinator in Washington and during the tight end's rookie season in 2013.

"I think everyone is aware of Jordan's ability," Shanahan said. "When he's been healthy, he's played at an extremely high level. He's been one of the best third-down tight ends in the league when he's been healthy. I got to spend a year there (in Washington) with him, so I'm familiar with the person and the player."

Reed has recorded 329 catches for 3,371 yards with 24 touchdowns through six NFL seasons, not including 2019.

"But when it comes to the tight ends, we always love to bring six tight ends to camp," Shanahan continued. "It's hard. Sometimes you bring five. Sometimes you bring six. It depends on whether there's two fullbacks, one fullback. Then when you cut down to 80 (players), it makes that a lot harder.

"So adding six is something that you're always asking for as a coach because you use them so much, and you need depth. So that was something we were hoping for anyways. But then when it became the possibility of Jordan Reed, things change a little bit because now you're not just trying to add a number, you're trying to add a guy who, if he's healthy, I mean, everyone's seen how he's played in this league."

Shanahan noted that he is excited to get Reed into camp and realizes he hasn't been on the football field for some time. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though.

"I know he's very hungry to get back out there," Shanahan added. "... I know he's hungry to come in and play football. He hasn't gotten to do much of that lately, and when you have a talented guy who's hungry to play football, it works out if they can stay healthy.

"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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