Making the Call: Should Bengals Re-Sign Brandon Tate?


Dec 22, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon Tate (19) returns a kick off getting away from Denver Broncos outside linebacker Corey Nelson (52) during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our look at the Bengals’ 2015 free agents bring us to Brandon Tate.  The six-year wide receiver has primarily served as a return specialist for the Bengals while also providing depth for the wide receiving core.  The last two years, Brandon Tate has signed one-year contracts to remain with the Bengals.  Should the Bengals re-sign Tate once more?

Prior to 2014, many fans were frustrated with Brandon Tate’s retention.  He never did anything particularly wrong, but also didn’t bring much to the table.  He was strictly a special teams returner, albeit a largely unimpressive one.  Opposing teams didn’t fear his returning prowess, but the Bengals loved Tate’s reliability and weren’t so concerned with his averages, which led to his retention.

Meanwhile, Tate brought little production as a receiver.  He only caught 14 passes in his first two years with the team. Fans wanted to the team to move from Tate and replace him with a player possessing more upside.  But at only 25 years old at the time, the Bengals thought differently.

This past season, Brandon Tate seems much improved as a receiver.  Although he didn’t produce a ton at the position statistically, he did a good job of filling-in for an injured A.J. Green and looked much for comfortable in Hue Jackson’s creative offense.

Nonetheless, the Bengals have continued to improve, and by the end of the year, Brandon Tate became largely an afterthought once more.  Adam Jones has really excelled as a returner, doing so well that he earned First-Team All Pro honors as a returner in 2014.  Justifiably, many fans want Jones to remain in the role and are seemingly willing to acquire another cornerback to make it happen in 2015.  Jones’ emergence has forced Tate into a reserve role at what once was his “bread and butter” job.

Meanwhile at receiver, Brandon Tate will likely make no impact in the coming season unless a serious injury bug hits the receivers once again.  With Marvin Jones returning in 2015, he, A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, and James Wright will land ahead of Tate on the depth chart.  This while Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert have the ability to line up as receivers, and the team could be investing in another wide receiver in the 2015 draft.  Brandon Tate doesn’t seem to have a place within the receivers group.

Brandon Tate has been a solid player for the Bengals over the past three seasons.  But with all the talent preceding him on the depth chart, his time in Cincinnati will likely be over this off-season.

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