Ranking the available free agent tight ends in 2023 for the Bengals

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
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The Cincinnati Bengals don't have any tight ends signed to their roster as of now. Hayden Hurst, Drew Sample, and Mitchell Wilcox are all hitting free agency with Wilcox being an exclusive-rights free agent. That means Wilcox will be back but the team still needs a starter at the position.

If the Bengals choose to add a starting tight end in free agency, here are the six best options for them. I only picked players who would start so no, Sample is not on this list. I didn't necessarily put the best tight ends talent-wise at the top of the list but I took into account their stats and how much it'd cost to land them.

All contract projections courtesy of PFF and all stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

6. Dalton Schultz

Don't get me wrong -- It'd be awesome to have Dalton Schultz in this offense. Can you imagine the destruction that would occur if he was added to Joe Burrow's arsenal. That'd be downright scary.

Schultz broke onto the scene for the Cowboys in 2020 and became a force to be reckoned with in their offense the past three seasons. He was franchise-tagged in 2022 and is set to get paid this offseason, which is why I have him this low on the list. He's projected to earn a four-year deal worth $58 million and an annual salary of $14.5 million.

If the Bengals want to spend that kind of money on a tight end, they'd be better off paying less and re-signing Hurst.