Washington Redskins re-sign TE Niles Paul

Niles Paul was a 5th round pick of the Redskins’ in 2011 and turning the big bodied wide receiver into a pass catching tight end was always kind of a pet project of Mike Shanahan’s. Ironically, Paul didn’t really produce until this year, when Jay Gruden came in. Paul caught 39 passes for 507 yards and a touchdown on 280 routes run, largely in the absence of oft injured tight end Jordan Reed. The 6-1 241 pounder predictably struggles as a run blocker (62nd out of 67 eligible in that aspect this season), but has a role in the league as a #2 move tight end.

This 3-year, 10 million dollar deal keeps him off the open market where he would have joined a weak tight end market. With Charles Clay getting transition tagged by the Dolphins, you could make a case that Paul was the 3rd best tight end on the open market after Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron. Given that, this deal makes sense financially, even if it is a slight overpay for a guy who doesn’t block well enough to be an every down tight end. However, tight end wasn’t really a need for the Redskins. As injury prone as Jordan Reed is, he’s still a very solid, young tight end overall when healthy and it would have made more sense for the Redskins to save this money for more help defensively, but I don’t hate the move.

Grade: B-

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