One thing the Cincinnati Bengals will have to address this offseason is their return unit, especially with their primary returner, wide receiver Brandon Tate, set to hit free agency for the second-straight offseason.
Tate was consistent at giving Cincinnati’s offense good field position. His numbers improved as the season went on and he finished ranked fifth in the league in kickoff-return yards (26.1) and seventh in punt-return yards (9.3).
Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com says the Bengals think they’ll be able to re-sign Tate this offseason in hopes of maintaining one of the best special teams units in the NFL:
Tate is the only specialist who is an unrestricted free agent and the Bengals think they’ll be able to re-sign him, putting everyone back on special teams but free-agent-to-be safety Taylor Mays, another guy the Bengals would like to re-sign.
The Bengals do need to look at to add another capable return-man to backup Tate. Adam ones is a capable-but-fragile returner, and he needs to focus more on defense with so many questions surrounding the defensive backfield this offseason.
As for free agent safety Taylor Mays, his contributions weren’t just on ST, but he was a solid defender, taking snaps at safety, cornerback and even linebacker.
He was on pace to have a good year and perhaps get a decent contract offer from another team, but because he tore his shoulder labrum in Week 8 vs. the Jets, he probably won’t draw any interest, leaving the Bengals to re-sign him to a manageable contract.