Bengals: C.J. Uzomah could be on the chopping block in 2021
The Cincinnati Bengals took C.J. Uzomah in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and he’s been a decent player for them considering he was a Day 3 draft pick. Uzomah was never really thought to be anything more than a backup or third-string tight end when he was selected but in 2018 and 2019, he started double-digit games and became the starter.
He’s never been a star but Uzomah is a solid player who was particularly good as a blocker. With an offensive line that has struggled as much as Cincinnati’s has, that’s something that can’t be understated.
This past year, Uzomah appeared in just two games before getting injured and missing the rest of the season as a result. His injury allowed Drew Sample to step up and show the team enough to earn the starting job moving forward and there’s definitely a chance for Uzomah to be on the trade block this year.
Patrik Walker of CBS Sports listed Uzomah as the Bengals’ most likely player from their team to be on the chopping block this year and offered this analysis:
"A good blocking tight end isn’t easy to find in the NFL, and Uzomah is definitely one you’d like to hold on to. The problem is the bell will soon toll on his three-year deal, with Uzomah entering the final year that would see the Bengals save $5.08 million toward their salary cap if they released or traded him. This likely wouldn’t be a decision made any time soon, as they’d first want to see how others in the TE room perform with the possibility of replacing him, but it’s not outside the realm of logic to consider the 28-year-old suiting up for a different team before the season is over."
I agree that this isn’t a decision the Bengals wouldn’t rush into.
They have Sample as their starting option and some other lesser-known names on their roster that could surprise some people (he failed to mention Thaddeus Moss, who could jump into a starting role given his background with Joe Burrow) but Uzomah has been a solid piece for Cincinnati and they wouldn’t part with him unless it was in their best interest.
C.J. Uzomah could be on the trade block for the Bengals this year.
The Bengals’ tight end leaves a lot to be desired and while Uzomah has shown potential, the team should consider signing a veteran tight end to compete with this group. If they decide to do that, that’d make Uzomah even more expendable and plenty of teams would be interested in trading a late-round draft pick for an experienced tight end who’s a good blocker.
This isn’t something that’ll happen anytime soon but it’s definitely something to monitor. C.J. Uzomah has been a nice player for the Bengals but they have another tight end who looks to be their future starter and that means it might be wise to get anything they can for Uzomah.