Bengals first-year free-agent report card for 2022 season

Cincinnati Bengals v New York Jets
Cincinnati Bengals v New York Jets / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Hayden Hurst

After C.J. Uzomah broke fans' hearts by signing with the Jets, the Bengals had to find another option to start at tight end. They landed Hayden Hurst on a cheap one-year deal and the former first-round pick more than lived up to the hype.

Hurst had to compete with Mark Andrews for targets in Baltimore for the first two years of his career, played really well in 2020 with the Falcons, and then was overshadowed by Kyle Pitts in 2021. He didn't have any competition at tight end in Cincinnati and dominated during his first year in town.

Hurst finished the year with 52 catches for 414 yards and two touchdowns. He missed time with an injury but was a huge piece for Joe Burrow, especially on third downs. He'll hit free agency again and might have played his way out of Cincinnati's price range.

Final grade: A-