Tight end Niles Paul emerged as a pass-catching threat this past season for the Washington Redskins, filling in for oft-injured tight end Jordan Reed. Friday, that performance resulted in a new multiyear contract.
The Redskins re-signed Paul, who would have been a free agent next week, to a three-year deal. The contract is worth up to $10 million, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The signing also accomplishes one goal of new general manager Scot McCloughan when it comes to taking care of the team's own free agents.
Paul is one of 11 Redskins who are unrestricted free agents, and most likely won't return. But Paul proved his worth with 39 receptions for 507 yards and one touchdown this past season. With Reed injured and missing five games, Paul emerged as a viable threat in his absence.
He was moved from wide receiver to tight end in 2012 after his rookie year and had previously never caught more than eight passes in a season. Paul is considered a much better blocker in space than along the line.
Paul also is a key special-teams performer and considered a good leader. He was a fifth-round pick in 2011 out of Nebraska. As a rookie, he was primarily used in a blocking role while playing receiver.