Headlined by Pro Bowler Jordan Reed, the Redskins had a productive one-two punch at tight end during the 2016 season as Vernon Davis proved he still has a little bit left in the tank as well.
As the Redskins head into the offseason following back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1991-92, Redskins.com will provide position-by-position reflections from the 2016 squad.
Up next: tight ends.
State Of The Unit
Take a look back at the top images of the Washington Redskins' tight ends from the 2016 season.
The Washington Redskins knew they were going to get production from the tight end positon this season with Jordan Reed, who signed a multi-year extension in May. What they didn't exactly know, though, was just how much Vernon Davis had left in the tank.
Signed to a one-year deal well after a majority of the free agency hoopla died down, Davis joined the Redskins to return to his hometown region.
While Davis struggled following a mid-season trade from the San Francisco 49ers to the Denver Broncos in 2015, the University of Maryland product was confident he could still be a contributing factor at the tight end positon.
In the regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Davis had just one catch for 20 yards. Six days later, though, he hauled in five receptions for 51 yards. It was the first of six games in which the 11-year veteran would recorded at least 50 receiving yards.
Davis finished the season with 44 receptions for 583 yards and two touchdowns. In December, he became just the 12th tight end in NFL history to record 500 receptions is currently 11th all-time at the positon in receiving yards (6,424).
As for Reed, he earned his first career Pro Bowl nod despite being hampered by injuries. The fourth-year Florida product finished the year with 66 receptions for 686 yards and six touchdowns.
Twice Reed hauled in a pair of touchdown catches in a game including a gutsy performance against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, as he was removed from the game in the second quarter with a Grade 3 shoulder separation before returning for the second half.
Despite playing through the pain in three of Washington's final five games, the injury clearly impacted his play on the field as he had just seven receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown in the games he was active following his Dallas performance.
The Redskins also got contributions from Derek Carrier and Niles Paul, not only from the tight end position but also occasionally lined up at fullback.
Paul returned from a dislocated ankle that wiped out his 2015 season to appear in eight games. He would catch two passes for 27 yards before suffering a torn labrum that would end with a trip to Injured Reserve.
Carrier would replace Paul after being activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list in November.
He would catch two passes.
What's Next For The Unit
For Reed, it's all about healing his injured shoulder and coming back ready to go for OTAs. It was announced this week that Reed will be replaced in the Pro Bowl by Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham.
Davis, meanwhile, is set to become an unrestricted free agent once again, but the tight end wants to stay in Washington.
"I think the opportunity to come back here and be a Washington Redskin would be a great opportunity," Davis said. "It'd be something to cherish, something to keep moving forward with, and being from Washington, D.C., it all makes sense."
Even though Davis turns 33 years old later this month, he thinks there's still quite a bit left in the tack.
"I can probably play another six [seasons] if I continue to take care of myself, which I do," Davis said. "I treat the offseason just like in season. Two to three massages a week, chiropractic work, work on the mental aspect of the game, making sure my mind is still there, and that's pretty much it. You have to do those things outside the locker room as well, and I tell a lot of young guys that, and they look at me like I'm crazy. You have to take care of yourself the same way; you can't stop. That's just my approach, and that's what it's always been. But probably six more years, honestly."
Paul and Carrier, meanwhile, are entering the last year of their respective contracts.
2016 Redskins Season In Review: