The Kansas City Chiefs have re-signed Travis Kelce with a five-year, $46 million extension, with over $20 million in guarantees. With an extension looming, Tyler Eifert could make even more.
The Cincinnati Bengals have a new bar after Zach Ertz signed his extension, and now Travis Kelce has given Eifert more reasons to ask for the world and expect it. The Kansas City Chiefs really relied on Kelce and Jeremy Maclin after Jamaal Charles went down with a season ending injury early in 2015. Kelce, who had back to back 800+ yard seasons, finished 2015 with 72 receptions on 100 targets for 875 yards, an average of 12.2 yards per catch and five touchdowns.
Tyler Eifert, on the other hand, had 13 touchdowns in his 2015 campaign alone, finishing with 52 catches on 72 targets for 615 yards and an average of 11.8 yards per catch. For what it’s worth, he also played in 13 games compared to Kelce’s 16 games. Before injury, Eifert was on pace to break the NFL record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in an NFL season.
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Tyler Eifert is about to enter his contract year, and although his career in Cincinnati has been injury-riddled, his asking price will still be sky-high. Barring a serious injury, the tight end should be asking for a massive contract–and given the Bengals’ willingness to hand out money to their top players, he’ll likely receive just that. If Eifert ends up getting injured and doesn’t want to sign a long-term deal, the franchise tag is always an option.
As for Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs, Kelce proved his worth and has two healthy seasons under his belt. Given the dearth of free agents needed to be signed this offseason, the Bengals could have to cut ties with a player or two to set aside cash for Eifert’s deal. Cincinnati has proven it likes to invest in homegrown talent, and signing Eifert would definitely be a sign of the team’s commitment to its players and fans.