With all of the talk of the Cincinnati Bengals‘ wide receivers, the lack of talent at the tight end position doesn’t seem like a big deal. After all, the Bengals have C.J. Uzomah, an experienced veteran, as well as former second-round pick Drew Sample at the position. They also have Joe Burrow’s LSU teammate Thaddeus Moss and UDFA signing Pro Wells on the roster as well.
All of this being said, signing a veteran tight end prior to training camp wouldn’t be frowned upon for the Bengals.
As decent as Uzomah has been, he appeared in just two games before getting hurt and went on to miss the rest of the season. That paved the way for Sample to step up more, but prior to that, the former second-rounder hadn’t done much of anything.
The Cincinnati Bengals could use a veteran tight end.
The unfortunate part of this situation is that there aren’t many great tight ends sitting on the free-agent market. Trey Burton is probably the best tight end available production-wise but he is injury-prone and according to Sports Injury Predictor, has an 88% chance of getting injured in 2021.
Former Bengal Tyler Eifert is still available in free agency and this could be a reunion that makes a lot of sense for both sides. Like Burton, however, Eifert has battled injuries throughout his career. That’s part of why the Bengals were okay with letting Eifert leave but now he wouldn’t be relied upon to carry the load at tight end.
Jesse James is probably the best tight end available in free agency. He’s not injury-prone and has only an 18% chance of getting injured this year per Sports Injury Predictor. James isn’t going to be a star at the position but he’s a depth piece, has experience at the position, and could step in and fill a bigger role if need be.
They could also go the route of trading for a tight end and if that’s the route they wanted to go in, Zach Ertz is the best option out there who could be available. Ertz would be an incredible addition to this Bengals offense.
While the options in free agency aren’t the greatest, the Bengals should still consider signing a veteran tight end to ensure they have decent depth at a position that’s going to get a lot of looks from Joe Burrow.