The Cincinnati Bengals should sign the recently-released Jeff Heuerman to shore up the tight end position for 2020.
On Friday, the Broncos released former third-round pick, Jeff Heuerman. After signing Nick Vannett off the open market and receiving promising returns from their 2019 first-round tight end Noah Fant, Denver had a plethora of talent and not enough snaps to go around, allowing them to move on from the 6’5 target. The Cincinnati Bengals, who have a far weaker tight end room, should take advantage of this circumstance.
As things stand, there are two known commodities at the tight end position in the Queen City. C.J. Uzomah is one of the favorites within the organization because of his locker room presence and ability to show up in the passing game from time to time. Drew Sample is also viewed favorably within the walls of Paul Brown Stadium, due to his blocking capabilities and perceived upside.
After that duo, however, things become much more of an unknown. Cethan Carter, Mason Schreck, and undrafted college free-agent Mitchell Wilcox appear to be the leading candidates to hold the other two roster spots allotted for tight ends. Each player from that trio brings value to the room but they also carry unknowns, certainly leaving room for the front office to improve the unit.
At the right price, Heuerman would offer great competition and potentially upgrade one of the weakest position groups on Zac Taylor’s squad.
What Jeff Heuerman would bring to the Bengals
Heuerman is generally known as a block first, catch second kind of tight end. He plays with great effort, can hold his own in the trenches, and has the tools necessary to contribute to the air attack. Not to mention, he’s shown flashes of brilliance like the one seen below, suggesting that a change of scenery could be enough to reach a new level in his professional career.
Beyond that, he would bring some much-needed experience to the tight end room. The previously mentioned Uzomah has 61 games under his belt but beyond him, the unit is lacking playing time. The entire rest of the tight end cast only has 48 games of experience, whereas Heuerman himself has participated in 51 contests.
The coaching staff is currently relying on quite a number of young players to make a big impact in 2020, especially along the offensive line. Adding the former Ohio State Buckeye would provide leadership and steady the trenches.
Adding intrigue to the prospect of Heuerman in stipes is the price tag attached to his services. The Broncos had him on a contract that paid him $8M over two years. That’s should be within Cincinnati’s budget and could be well worth the investment to provide Joe Burrow with a little extra protection as well as open up some additional running lanes for Joe Mixon.
Heuerman likely won’t come in and challenge Uzomah or Sample for their positions on the depth chart, but he would act as a high-upside rotational player and insurance plan in case of an injury. For a Bengals squad in the midst of a rebuild, attempting to round out their roster, that should be enough to warrant consideration.