49ers sign former college basketball star, veteran tight end Erik Swoope

49ers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly signed veteran tight end Erik Swoope.

The San Francisco 49ers are running dangerously low on available skill position players following a slew of recent injuries to their offense. And in a move to counteract some of those concerns, the team signed veteran tight end Erik Swoope on Monday.

As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 49ers brought Swoope in for a workout on Monday and subsequently signed him to a one-year contract.

The 28-year-old hasn’t played in the NFL since 2018, but has an incredibly interesting backstory.

A successful college basketball player at the University of Miami, Swoope appeared in 110 career games for the Hurricanes over his four-year career.

However, he went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft. And instead of continuing to pursue a career in basketball, Swoope decided to make a shocking career transformation.

Despite never playing organized football at any level, Swoope signed on with the Indianapolis Colts shortly following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft. He would spend the next couple of seasons harnessing his skills mostly on the practice squad.

The California native finally saw significant in-game action in 2016 when he played in all 16 games making six starts while hauling in 15 catches for 297 yards and a touchdown.

Swoope finally looked to be securing a regular role in the offense, but a knee injury suffered in August of 2017 would cost him the entire season.

He returned to the gridiron in 2018 playing in seven games splitting time between the active roster, practice squad, and the open market. And to date, that was the last time he saw regular-season action.

Swoope briefly signed with the then-Oakland Raiders last spring but lasted just two months on the roster. But with the 49ers eyeing tight end depth, Swoope has been brought in.

Erik Swoope provides the 49ers with extra insurance at the tight end position.

San Francisco already has a number of receivers out of action with the likes of Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Richie James, and Brandon Aiyuk all sidelined for varying lengths of time.

Moreover, tight end Jordan Reed remains out as he rehabs his concussion while Ross Dwelley is currently sidelined with a foot injury. Simply put, the 49ers need bodies.

Swoope is a great athlete who, at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, has good size for the position. But in reality, he likely isn’t anything more than depth given the state of the roster.

His only chance of making the roster will be if Reed and Dwelley remain sidelined into the regular season.

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Nonetheless, he’ll have an opportunity to make the most of his stint in San Francisco.