The Cincinnati Bengals‘ plan at the tight end position this season appears to be rolling with 2019 second-round pick Drew Sample and former fifth-rounder C.J. Uzomah as the two main options.
While Sample showed glimpses of potential last year during Uzomah’s absence, the Bengals need to strongly consider signing a veteran tight end. It appears they’re well-aware of this, as they attended Jordan Matthews‘ workout over the weekend, according to James Rapien of All Bengals.
Now I know what you’re thinking (at least for those of you who remember who Matthews is) — “Isn’t Jordan Matthews a wide receiver?”
It’s true that Matthews, a former second-round pick by the Eagles in 2014, once played wide receiver, having done so for the duration of his NFL career. According to Rapien, however, he’s put on some weight and is making a switch to tight end.
"Matthews was one of 66 players that worked out a the HUB Football Camp in San Diego over the weekend. The Bengals had a representative in attendance and they spoke with the former Eagles receiver after his workout.Matthews had a good showing according to sources and “carried the extra weight” well. He was smooth in and out of his routes, despite adding 15 pounds this offseason. He also looked serviceable during blocking drills according to a source that watched the workout.The Bengals were one of many teams that had a representative at the camp. The Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Jaguars, Chargers, and Seahawks also sent scouts to watch the OTA-style workouts."
The Bengals are showing interest in adding a tight end.
While this news doesn’t really thread the needle much, it shows that Cincinnati isn’t content with just Sample and Uzomah as their tight end options. Sample hasn’t looked the part of a second-round pick to this point and Uzomah, while a nice player, played in just two games last year after getting injured.
Matthews hasn’t been a major factor in any offense since the 2016 season, his third in the league. In his first three years of NFL action, Matthews had at least 800 yards and three touchdowns with his first two years being real impressive. In those two seasons, Matthews went for over 900 yards and had eight touchdowns both years.
After he was traded to the Bills, however, he wasn’t the same player and quickly fizzled out. He’s still hung around the league the past few years but didn’t have a single catch last year in San Francisco. He’s not the same player he once was but again, this news is an indicator that the Bengals are willing to add another tight end ahead of training camp.
Is Matthews going to change this offense? Probably not. But if this is a step closer toward the Bengals bringing in help at tight end, I’m all for it.