A guy who was never supposed to make the team in the first place and seems to start every season as Plan B — or C — James Logan Sindre Paulsen has evolved over several years into a nice little insurance policy for Mike Shanahan.
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, Paulsen figured to be little more than training camp fodder for a team that already boasted a tight end tandem of Chris Cooley and Fred Davis. But at 6-5 and 260, he’s easily the biggest and the best blocker of the three, so there were always packages in which he’d play. No one projected him as a receiver, though, and while he’s no Kellen Winslow, Paulsen actually performed pretty well last year in that role after Davis suffered a season-ending injury. So well, in fact, that although Cooley, who’d been cut in training camp, was re-signed in mid-season, Paulsen continued as the primary receiving threat out of the tight end slot for the balance of the season.
In 2012, Paulsen played in all 16 games, hauling in 25 passes for 308 yards — a very respectable average of 12.3 yards per reception — and one touchdown. For his career, he has a total of 43 catches for 456 yards and two touchdowns.
Logan Paulsen is kind of like the girl next door who’s always there waiting by the phone when the cheerleader changes her mind about going to the prom with you. For the first two seasons of his career, Paulsen was the guy with the high-top shoes and flowing locks whose name no one could remember until the eye candy — either Davis or Cooley — went down with an injury or suspension. Last season was only slightly different, as the Redskins initially cut ties with Cooley and kept Paulsen as Davis’ backup. But when Davis tore his Achilles, Paulsen held down the fort even after Cooley’s return.
His thanks? The Redskins re-signed Davis and drafted Florida tight end Jordan Reed — another flashy cheerleader.
If everything works out as it hasn’t for the past three seasons and the Redskins’ top two tight ends stay healthy and productive, Paulsen will slide quietly back into the shadows, content to do the dirty work on special teams and short-yardage situations. But if injuries or substance abuse afflict Reed and Davis, don’t be surprised to see Paulsen out there again catching drive-sustaining passes, clearing holes along the offensive line and generally performing like a tire patch on the Maserati the Redskin offense hopes to be.