Breaking down the Redskins’ tight end depth chart for 2019
By Ian Cummings
Redskins Starters: TEs Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis
In these two players alone, the Redskins have approximately $16 million tied up in cap space. They have three Pro Bowl berths between the two of them, but Vernon Davis‘ last appearance was in 2013, and Jordan Reed hasn’t made it back since 2016.
For Reed, injuries have been a massive detriment. The Miami product looked like he was on his way to becoming one of the Redskins most explosive and reliable offensive weapons after 2015 and 2016. His ability to shimmy and gain space quickly up the middle of the field was matched by few with his size, and he was very solid after the catch as well.
Reed has always had the talent, and when he could stay on the field, his dynamic receiving ability, in a sense, cancelled out his inconsistent blocking. But he hasn’t once played a full sixteen game season, and over the course of the past three seasons, he’s missed 17 total games. There’s no one problem area for Reed; it’s all a problem. Concussions, hamstring, shoulder, et cetera.
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But it’s too late to cut anyone now. The Redskins are stuck with Reed’s cap figure, and if they released him now, they’d have nothing to gain. The best thing to do is to at least give themselves the chance for a healthy Reed. It’s a lot to ask for, but Reed has another offseason to prepare his body. Will it amount to anything, from a health standpoint? It hasn’t yet. But if it does, Reed still has some talent left in the tank.
Surprisingly, at 35 years old, Vernon Davis also has talent left in the tank. The former first-round pick has always been known for his athleticism, and while some parts of his game have deteriorated, that part has not. Davis, at his ripe old age, is still a potential big play threat for the Redskins. He’s not anywhere near the blocker he used to be, and he’s grown inconsistent. But the man can still run near his timed 4.38 speed, and he still has the burst to find space against linebackers. But all players have that ability sapped by time eventually. The question is, when will it happen for Davis?
For now, the Redskins have a pair of uncertain assets up top at tight end. They have two players who both have playmaking ability, but struggle with consistency, as well as providing utility value in the blocking department. With any luck, the next name down can help with the latter issue.