Washington's top tight end last season, Logan Thomas, didn't play the position in college. Its latest tight end acquisition didn't even play the sport until recently.
The Football Team signed former Tulane basketball player Sammis Reyes on Tuesday. Reyes, who is of Chilean descent, is the latest prospect to find their way to the league through the International Player Pathway Program (IPP).
"I'm so proud of Sammis for all his hard work to develop as a football player, including over the past 10 weeks of training alongside our other international prospects," NFL International COO Damani Leach said in a statement. "His signing with Washington is another testament to the International Player Pathway Program's success and the league's commitment to international growth."
Reyes grew up in Chile before moving to the United States at the age of 14 where he eventually played basketball at North Broward Prep in Florida and then at Tulane. In two seasons on the hardwood for the Green Wave, the 6-foot-6 athlete started two of 32 games played and played 254 minutes total, scoring 24 points and recording 48 rebounds and 12 blocks. He also spent some time with the Chilean national team.
After college, however, Reyes turned to the gridiron.
"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."
Reyes spent the last 10 weeks training with 10 other NFL hopefuls involved in the IPP at IMG Academy in Florida before showing out at Florida's pro day on March 31.
The 25-year-old isn't guaranteed a spot on Washington's opening-day roster, but there is opportunity there to crack the final 53; as things stand, Reyes will compete with Temarrick Hemingway, Marcus Baugh, Tyrone Swoopes and Dylan Cantrell to back up Thomas.
The Football Team also claimed offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel off waivers.
Elsewhere around the NFL on Tuesday:
- Free-agent edge rusher Justin Houston is visiting the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday. Houston, 32, spent the last two seasons with the Colts, racking up 19 sacks.
- The Arizona Cardinals agreed to terms with running back James Conner on a one-year deal.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed cornerback Ross Cockrell. The former fourth-round pick recorded 11 tackles and one pass deflection in 12 games (two starts) last season; he also played in all four playoff games.
- The Atlanta Falcons signed tight end Ryan Becker.
- The Carolina Panthers signed defensive end Frank Herron and defensive tackle P.J. Johnson to one-year deals. The team also signed fullback Mikey Daniel, who spent time with the Falcons last season, per Rapoport, via a source.
- The San Francisco 49ers announced that exclusive rights free-agent offensive lineman Daniel Brunskillhas signed his one-year tender and tight end Chase Harrell has been waived.