Tyler Eifert is back with the Bengals, but he garnered interest elsewhere in free agency before re-signing. Eifert’s decision ultimately came down to the Bengals and the Rams, Jim Owczarski of The Enquirer reports.
“But at the end of the day I knew where I wanted to be, which was with the Bengals,” the tight end said. “From the beginning, I told everyone that it would take something pretty special for me to leave. It would have to be an obvious decision.”
The Rams made Eifert a strong offer, but the Bengals pounced on their opportunity to match. The tight end’s new one-year deal is worth $5.5MM, but performance incentives could allow him to earn roughly $8.5MM in 2018. If Eifert plays in all 16 games, something that he has not done in his career and hasn’t come close to doing since 2015, he can add $1MM to his bank account. He can then earn an extra $3MM via receptions, receiving yards and touchdown incentives.
“I felt like I owed that to the organization, to Mr. Brown, to coach Lewis and to the fans, especially the way the first five years of my career have gone; up and down,” Eifert said of rejecting L.A.’s overtures. “I felt like (I had to) to keep them in the loop. I knew that’s where I wanted to be, so I’m happy about that.”
Eifert would have been a risky, but potentially rewarding, addition for the Rams. Of course, L.A. is not lacking for star power after adding notables like Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and, most recently, wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Tight end remains a need for L.A., but they can find support for current depth chart topper Tyler Higbee in the draft later this month.
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