Tate, 27, was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2009 draft, but only lasted two seasons in New England. The North Carolina product has spent the last four years in Cincinnati, returning kicks and punts for the club and occasionally contributing on offense as well.
Tate didn’t have much of an impact in the return game in 2014, averaging 9.7 yards per punt return and a career-low 22.1 yards per kick return; he hasn’t had a return touchdown since 2011. With the Bengals dealing with multiple injuries to pass-catchers, Tate played more on offense than he had in the previous two seasons, grabbing 17 balls for 193 yards and a TD.
Although he’s back on the roster, Tate isn’t necessarily guaranteed a role as the team’s primary returner, or even a spot on the roster. Coley Harvey of ESPN.com and Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer both tweet that they still expect the Bengals to draft a return-type receiver in a few weeks, with Tate providing insurance and competition.
Tate previously paid a visit to the Chiefs.