4 Bengals players and coaches who won't return in 2024

We try and predict some of the changes for this Bengals team next offseason.

Cincinnati Bengals, Lou Anarumo
Cincinnati Bengals, Lou Anarumo / Courtney Culbreath/GettyImages
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3. Irv Smith, TE

The Bengals aren't a team that features the tight end position all that much in the passing game, but if they lose Higgins, it might become a thought, depending on how the rest of the offseason goes. In any event, Irv Smith hasn't panned out in the NFL as many thought he would being a former second-round pick.

Smith has yet to finish a season with over 36 receptions and, in his lone season here in Cincinnati, he has totaled 18 on 26 targets. Week 1 actually saw Smith get the most targets in a game he's seen all year, with five. That initial outing seemed to give us a little bit of hope that Smith might be featured, but he has yet to finish with more than four targets in a single game this year. In fact, Smith hasn't had four targets, in a game, in seven weeks.

Smith should be allowed to walk without hesitation, and quite frankly, the Bengals need to figure out their future at this position. It's probably not Tanner Hudson, and Drew Sample is a fine TE2 or TE3.

But, Smith could have been this team's go-to tight end in the passing game and he just hasn't been.