Former 49ers WR Jordan Matthews trying comeback as tight end

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A former 49ers wide receiver is making a switch to tight end, although with much less fanfare than the former quarterback in Jacksonville doing the same thing.

Jordan Matthews, who spent parts of the last two seasons with San Francisco, is looking to extend his career by bulking up and learning how to play tight end in an era where that position is becoming more valuable.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Wednesday tweeted that Matthews, 28, was up 15 pounds and spent part of his offseason working out with George Kittle and 40-plus other tight ends at the first ever Tight End University. A video of Matthews on the scale showed him at 236 pounds – up from the 215 he’s listed at on Pro Football Reference.

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It’s an interesting position change that might actually catch San Francisco’s attention.

Matthews is familiar with their offense and may add the pass-catching element currently missing from their TE group outside of Kittle. Last season former Washington TE Jordan Reed played that role for the 49ers.

There’s undoubtedly going to be a steep learning curve for Matthews when it comes to blocking and other nuances of the position. However, San Francisco has the bodies to insulate him from some of the heavier blocking duties, and could ease him in mostly as a pass catcher right away.

Matthews was a second-round pick of the Eagles in 2014. Across seven seasons he’s played in 75 games and posted 274 receptions, 3,288 yards and 22 touchdowns. He played in three games for the 49ers and didn’t register a target.