49ers officially declare their new backup to tight end George Kittle

Kyle Shanahan always wanted two potent tight ends to help operate his offense.
Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (82)
Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (82) / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers hope Logan Thomas can fill the long-vacant void at tight end behind George Kittle.

The closest San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan came to having two legitimate threats at tight end was back in 2020 when both Jordan Reed and All-Pro George Kittle were on the roster.

Of course, 2020 was a season most Niners fans would prefer forgetting. In that injury-plagued year, Kittle missed eight games with his own injuries, frequently leaving Reed as the No. 1 option on the depth chart until the latter suffered season-ending injuries, too.

Since that point, Shanahan has long sought a quality No. 2 tight end who could not only pair with Kittle to fully deploy all elements of the offense but to also guard against injury.

Kittle does have that injury reputation, after all, paralleling his aggressive style of play.

With 2024 training camp just over a month away, San Francisco now hopes to have its next answer.

49ers make it official, sign Logan Thomas to back up George Kittle

A day before the 49ers were to begin mandatory minicamp on June 4, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the team was honing in on signing former Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas.

On Tuesday, the Niners made it official, stating they signed Thomas to a one-year deal.

In a corresponding move to clear a roster spot, San Francisco waived defensive lineman Raymond Johnson III.

Thomas, who'll turn 33 years old this July, spent the last four years with Washington and originally entered the league as a fourth-round NFL Draft choice of the Arizona Cardinals and as a quarterback.

Converting to tight end the following year, Thomas has an injury reputation of his own but also has 219 receptions for 2,002 yards and 16 touchdowns over his eight-year career that included stints with the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, too.

In 2020, his first year with Washington, Thomas enjoyed career-highs in receptions (72), receiving yards (670) and touchdowns (six).

Hopefully, the 49ers will be able to deploy both he and Kittle instead of having to rely on one over the other because of injury.

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