While Jordan Reed will continue to make waves as the Redskins' No. 1 tight end, they'll return Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen, too, along with veteran Vernon Davis, one of the top players at the position over the last decade.
While the Washington Redskins already had Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Derek Carrier and Marcel Jensen on their 2016 offseason roster, a strong group only got stronger last week with the signing of veteran Vernon Davis.
One of the NFL's top tight ends of the last decade, Davis has accumulated nearly 6,000 receiving yards in 10 seasons to go along with 461 receptions and 55 touchdowns.
Davis also ranks in the top 20 all-time in touchdowns (seventh), receiving yards (15th) and receptions (tied for 19thwith Todd Christensen) among tight ends.
The acquisition was a no-brainer for tight ends coach Wes Phillips, who recalls just how special the University of Maryland product was during the 2005 NFL Scouting Combine when he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash along with recording a 128-inch broad jump.
"He's a little different than most veterans in that we all know what he did at the Combine when he came out and he's still got a lot of that athleticism, a lot of that speed, power, explosiveness both as a pass catcher and a run blocker," Phillips told "Redskins Nation" host Larry Michael in a recent appearance.
But Davis' lethalness goes well beyond his gifted athleticism.
"I think it's a combination of things," Phillips said. "I think that he is a physical specimen naturally to start off with, but talking with him when we had him here for a visit, he really takes care of his body, watches what he eats, gets his workouts in and makes sure he really takes care of his body."
Davis was brought in just one season after the Redskins' tight ends group was devastated by injury after injury.
It started during the preseason when both Paul and Paulsen suffered season-ending ankle and toe injuries.
Then after Carrier was acquired in an August trade with the 49ers, the 25-year-old suffered a torn ACL and MCL in a mid-December game against the Chicago Bears.
Announced as the team's No. 1 tight end before his injury, Phillips believes Paul can step right back in and make an impact as both a pass catcher and as a blocker.
Take a look back at the top images of the Washington Redskins' tight ends from the 2015 season.
"He's kind of that tweener," Phillips said. "You'd like him to be bigger if he was just a blocker but he can do so many things. He can motion the backfield, he can run routed from extended as a single receiver with his background as a wide receiver and we feel really good about him, he's just got to make sure that he continues his rehab."
As for Paulsen, the team's most traditional blocking tight end, he'll have his own function, too.
"He's different than all the other guys we have and that's why he's really got to try to carve out that niche, that role for him where he's our blocking tight end," Phillips said "He's 275 pounds right now, he's a big man, he's strong, he knows what his role is, so he's actively working at excel at that role. He's a pretty special guy as far as intangibly and we feel like he'll come back ready to go."