The Redskins have brought back the “lumberjack”.
Tight end Logan Paulsen, a favorite at Redskins Park because of his tremendous physical condition and tireless work ethic, has signed a three-year deal to stay with the Redskins.
Paulsen was slated to become a restricted free agent on Tuesday.
Mike Shanahan summed up the organization’s opinion of the three-year veteran last season.
“The guy’s in unbelievable shape. He is here early, late, all the time, seven days a week,” he said. “He studies the game. He knows what’s going to happen before it happens. That’s one of the reasons why he can play at the level that he’s playing at. He’s really a student of the game.”
Quarterback Robert Griffin III noted that Paulsen was frequently there already when he was trying to be the first player to arrive at Redskins Park.
“He’s a heady player. You can see it out there when he makes plays,” Griffin said. “He’s hard to tackle. He looks like a lumberjack out there.”
In each of the last two seasons Paulsen has finished up the season as the starter in place of Fred Davis. In 2011, Davis missed the last four games due to a drug-related suspension and Paulsen got the first starts of his career. He wasn’t much of a factor on offense with just four receptions in those four games for 43 yards.
After Davis went out last year with a torn Achilles tendon in the seventh game of the year, Paulsen was more into the flow of things on offense. He had 25 catches for 302 yards in the regular season plus two more for 15 yards and a touchdown against Seattle in the playoffs.
Davis is an unrestricted free agent but even if he leaves it seems unlikely that the Redskins will go into the season with Paulsen penciled in as the starter. His role will be to work as the second tight end and play on special teams.
His contract is reported to be worth $4.1 million over four years with a $1 million signing bonus. If he reaches some incentives he could make up to $7.1 million or have the deal void after two years.
If the contract is set up in such a way as to minimize the salary cap hit this year, when the Redskins are in a cap crunch, the cap number for the deal would be about $1.058 million. That would push the Redskins to about $3.5 million over the cap.