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Jordan Reed was one of the most dynamic pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, but unfortunately injuries plagued his career, leading to the 30-year-old’s retirement on Tuesday.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the news of Reed’s retirement, which comes after seven seasons, not including the 2019 campaign he missed all of due to injury:
Reed spent the first six seasons of his career with the Washington Football Team and peaked in 2015. He appeared in a career-high 14 games that year, logging 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns at age 25.
Although he showed flashes of brilliance thereafter, Reed couldn’t maintain enough long-term health to live up to his immense potential.
Last season, Reed played for the San Francisco 49ers, reuniting with Niners coach and former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. He caught 26 passes for 231 yards and a score, as San Francisco cycled through quarterbacks and suffered a myriad of injuries to key players.
Given his talent level and obvious grit to try to extend his career for as long as he did, Reed deserved a better exit from the gridiron. However, he’s putting his safety first, as he sustained seven concussions throughout his time in the NFL.
What Jordan Reed’s retirement means for San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are likely to pursue a tight end earlier in the draft than they might have otherwise if Reed continued playing.
After San Francisco takes its QB of the future third overall, its second-round target could well be someone like Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth, Miami’s Brevin Jordan or even Boston College product Hunter Long to fill out the No. 2 tight end spot alongside star George Kittle.
Given that the Niners have several other needs and don’t pick again until No. 103 overall, though, they might prioritize either bolstering their offensive or defensive lines. A cornerback prospect would also make sense in Round 2, as the team has lost multiple key players at that position this offseason.