As the Redskins began their three-day minicamp Tuesday, it was apparent the tight end battle will be highly competitive this summer.
The team has plenty of options in the post-Chris Cooley era. Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen are the incumbents, with Niles Paul providing an intriguing option and rookie Jordan Reed a potential star-in-the-making.
During minicamp, only Paulsen and Paul are on the field, with Davis and Reed working their way back from injuries.
“Training camp will be an opportunity for people to establish themselves,” said Paulsen, who caught 25 passes for 308 yards in 10 starts last season. “I don’t know if [last season] gives me an advantage, but that experience is invaluable.”
For Davis, whose talent has been neutralized at times by injuries or off-the-field issues, returning to Washington on a one-year, $2.5 million deal gives him another opportunity to put up big numbers in the hopes of getting a longer, big-money contract.
Last season, Paul was the odd man out on the receiving depth chart, so when given the opportunity to transform into a tight end, the 6-foot-1, 233-pounder took it and ran.
“Last year, I was just an athlete playing tight end, not really knowing what to do,” he said. “This year, I feel like a true tight end. I stayed here all offseason, went over plays and took the steps. It’s showing out here. I’m getting compliments from the coaches, saying I look like a true tight end.”
Reed has spent rookie camp, OTAs and minicamp on the sideline with a lower leg ailment. But he has been working exclusively with fellow injured players Davis and Robert Griffin III, establishing an early rapport with the quarterback that could pay dividends down the road.