ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Football Team has pursued a tight end, signing stud 6-6, 260-pound athlete Sammis Reyes to a contract.
And Sammis Reyes is pursuing a dream.
Reyes, 25, who grew up as a basketball player in Chile before dedicating himself to football, is a raw but talented athlete who will now have the opportunity to learn from Washington tight ends coach, Pete Hoener.
"I wanted to go to the NBA; that was my dream my entire childhood, and of course it never happened," Reyes told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in January. "So when I was 23, my current agent, my family and my close friends, they were like, ... 'You've got to give this football thing a shot. You're fast, you're strong, you're powerful.' So my friends, my best friends, and everybody around me convinced me to give it a shot."
The Football Team signed the former Tulane basketball player Sammis Reyes via the league's International Player Pathway Program (IPP).
On the one hand, such a pursuit seems like a long shot. On the other hand, athleticism plus coaching ...
Hoener has helped develop Logan Thomas from a very raw tight end into a more than serviceable pass-catcher, as well as coaching several productive tight ends such as Greg Olsen, Chris Manhertz, Vernon Davis, and Delanie Walker.
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As an old-school tactician, the Washington assistant is hard on his players, last year in but he's produced results.
Washington previously signed Reyes before he had a chance to finish the International Pathway Program, for which he was eventually going to end up in pool play.
Washington would not have been able to sign him at that point because they and the NFC East were part of the NFL-sponsored program last year, which resulted in David Bada staying in the organization.
This move, even if it doesn't work out, is exactly the type of out-of-the-box thinking that Washington needs. In the event Reyes doesn't catch on, it costs the team very little. And If does, there is a chance they could have the next Antonio Gates at their disposal.
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Reyes joins a group that is very suspect outside of Thomas with Temmarick Hemmingway and Tyrone Swoopes still in the mix.
And with that kind of competition, Reyes will not just have a chance to make the roster out of training camp, but potentially make his mark on the 2021 NFL season. That is, at the least, worth the pursuit.