SF 49ers news: Niners to ink free-agent tight end Erik Swoope

Erik Swoope #86 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Erik Swoope #86 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The SF 49ers are reinforcing an area with some injury concerns, signing veteran free-agent tight end Erik Swoope, per reports.

The SF 49ers aren’t overly concerned about their tight end depth entering training camp. But with reserve tight end Ross Dwelley nursing an injury and veteran Jordan Reed still working his way back from a year-long injury suffered in 2019, the Niners felt the need to add some additional camp bodies.

And to do so, San Francisco elected to add veteran free-agent tight end Erik Swoope, according to a Monday report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Swoope, 28 years old, joined the NFL in 2014 as an undrafted free-agent addition of the Indianapolis Colts after having a successful college career at Miami playing basketball, not football. He finally got on the radar in 2016 after spending the majority of his first two years on the Colts’ practice squad, registering 15 receptions for 297 yards and a touchdown:

Erik Swoope Receiving Table

Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2020.

Swoope was then signed by the New Orleans Saints early in 2018 but failed his physical, leading to a reunification with Indianapolis. In May of 2019, Swoope appeared on the Oakland Raiders’ offseason roster but didn’t make the regular-season cut and remained unsigned for the rest of the year.

The SF 49ers worked Swoope out earlier in August, likely to address some of the tight end depth behind Reed, Dwelley and their first-team All-Pro, George Kittle.

SF 49ers’ concerns with Charlie Woerner?

It might be too soon to come anywhere close to this conclusion, especially considering the Niners used a sixth-round NFL Draft pick on Georgia tight end Charlie Woerner, who was one of college football’s best blockers last year.

But Sports Illustrated’s Jose Sanchez reported Woerner has been having tremendous difficulty in training camp running routes, and his only redeeming value so far has been blocking.

That might be enough to save Woerner a spot on the 53-man roster, but it’s also possible San Francisco is looking at a player like Swoope to push the rookie harder.

Or at least act as a mentor, considering neither player was exactly asked to run complex routes at the college level.

dark. Next. 3 units impressing most during 49ers training camp

Regardless, one shouldn’t expect Swoope to make the 53-man group in Week 1, rather he’ll serve as a competition piece and someone to help round out the SF 49ers’ offseason roster between now and the start of the regular season.