SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- It's not as flashy as some of the other moves the San Francisco 49ers have made in the opening moments of free agency, but coach Kyle Shanahan does need some people to do the dirty work in his offense. So it is that the Niners have an agreement with tight end Logan Paulsen to become the newest addition to the team's free-agent haul.
As with others like quarterback Brian Hoyer and receiver Pierre Garcon, Paulsen has a history with Shanahan from their time together with the Washington Redskins. Shanahan was the offensive coordinator there with Paulsen before both moved on in recent years.
Terms: One year, money not yet available.
Grade: C. Every team -- especially rebuilding teams like the 49ers -- needs role players. In Paulsen's case, there's little doubt what will be asked of him and what he brings to the table. Paulsen is considered one of the best blocking tight ends in the league and he gives San Francisco yet another player who knows Shanahan's system and can help others learn it.
What it means: The 49ers had been connected to Atlanta Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme to potentially fill this role, but they opted for Paulsen instead. As it stands, they now have Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Blake Bell and Paulsen on the roster. Celek plays a similar role to Paulsen though he offers more upside as a pass-catcher. Remember, the Niners signed McDonald to a contract extension before Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over so it's possible they will continue to tweak the position. In six seasons, Paulsen has 82 receptions for 816 yards and six touchdowns. With the Chicago Bears last year, Paulsen had only three catches for 15 yards.
What's the risk: Assuming the deal isn't too exorbitant and it's unlikely it will be, there's not a ton of risk here. One thing to monitor: Paulsen is 30 and has a history of injury issues. He missed the entire 2015 season because of a toe injury and has dealt with foot and knee issues before that. Since the 49ers won't be asking Paulsen to play a huge role and this is a one-year deal, the risk is limited.