Irv Smith Jr.
Tight end Irv Smith Jr arrives via free agency from Minnesota. He is expected to take over for Hayden Hurst, who signed with the Carolina Panthers.
Hopefully, Smith will prove to be a suitable replacement for Hurst. Last year, Hurst recorded 52 catches for 414 yards and two touchdowns. Perhaps he saw a role in Carolina that would allow him to have more production. There are only so many targets to go around in Cincinnati.
For Smith, Hurst’s reception and yard totals would be career highs. Smith’s 2022 season was cut short because of injury. He had 25 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns in his reduced season.
Don’t be surprised if the former Viking puts up career numbers with Joe Burrow as his quarterback. And if he does, he could look for a contract close to the one Hurst got this offseason. If that happens, Smith could be one and done in the Queen City.
Bank on Smith, a newcomer, to be a starter and to have a large role in Cincinnati’s offense.