Former Pro Bowl Tight End Tyler Eifert is once again on the list of pending free agents for the Cincinnati Bengals. Here, we suggest how the organization should proceed.
Staying healthy is always a major concern for Tyler Eifert. He has played a full 16 game slate just once in his career. Moreover, the 29-year-old has been limited to eight or fewer games in a season on four separate occasions.
The good news is he made it through all 16 games last year. The tight end draft class is not particularly impressive this year. There isn’t anything on the rest of the free-agent market that is that much better than bringing back Eifert, likely on another one year deal, and pairing him with C.J. Uzomah again. Choosing to build the tight end room around Eifert and Uzomah again is one thing. How the Bengals use number 85 is another.
The fact that Eifert finally stayed healthy for all of last year is great news. However, it felt like the Bengals were treating him with kid gloves by limiting his playing time to ensure his health. He only started four games, but still managed to post a respectable 43 catches.
Playing it safe with the former Notre Dame standout was probably smart. However, the Bengals 2020 offense will almost certainly feature a rookie quarterback. If that is the case, Cincinnati needs to make Eifert a focal point in the passing offense and hope for the best.
Eifert scored 13 touchdowns in 2015. It has been a long time, but a guy like that may still have the ability to be the kind of matchup nightmare and security blanket that is a tremendous luxury for any quarterback, especially a rookie. Think about a lesser version of Jason Witten in his prime and what he did for so long for the Cowboys. If Eifert can still be that type of player, the Bengals would be foolish not to find out in 2020 or let some other team do so.