Tight end Niles Paul won’t be reaching the open market next week, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that Paul is re-signing with Washington on a three-year contract that can earn him up to nearly $10MM.
Paul, 25, saw just 28 total targets during his first three seasons in the NFL, primarily serving as a blocker and a special-teamer in Washington. However, when Jordan Reed was sidelined early in the 2014 campaign, Paul got an extended look as a pass-catcher, and took advantage by setting new career highs in receptions (39) and receiving yards (507).
Reed’s deal may not be quite as lucrative as the initial report suggests — the fact that it’s worth “up to” almost $10MM suggests the report is coming from an agent, and that the base value will likely be lower. Still, it sounds like he’ll average at least $2.5-3MM on his new deal, which is a nice payday for a player who was only a part-time contributor before 2014.
Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com notes (via Twitter) that several teams would have been interested in Paul’s services if he had reached the open market. Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com had reported earlier in the week that the tight end was expected to be on the Falcons’ radar.