Cincinnati Bengals Rumors & News

NFL Workout Updates: 10/17/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions 

Houston Texans

  • QB Taylor Heinicke (link via Caplan)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

Bengals Extend Long Snapper Clark Harris

Cincinnati and long snapper Clark Harris have reached an agreement on a contract extension, according to an official team announcement. The new deal will extend only through 2018, with the exact dollar amount and guaranteed dollars not yet known.Clark Harris (Vertical)

While the value of Harris’ his new contract remains to be seen, the highest-paid long snapper in the NFL this year is the Giants’ Zak DeOssie, who’s current deal pays him $1.57 MM per year, while guaranteeing him $200k per season.

Harris, 33, has been with the Bengals since 2009 after being drafted by the Packers in the seventh round in 2007. He’s one of the elder statesmen in terms of age at the position, although long snappers have a tendency to play well into their 30s if they establish themselves. The current median age of long snappers in the league is about 28 years old, so there really shouldn’t be too much concern that Harris’ reliability will diminish all too much next season.

Harris’ current deal pays him $990K this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/16/17

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

Bengals Work Out Four Tight Ends

With Tyler Eifert out for the season after opting to undergo back surgery last week, the Bengals got an up close look at a number of free agent tight ends today.Larry Donnell (vertical) Cincinnati worked out veterans Larry Donnell, Jace Amaro, Gavin Escobar and John Phillipstweets Adam Caplan of Sirius XM.

None of these options are particularly intriguing given the overall lack of production across the board, but it does show a pointed attempt to address a position that’s very much in flux with Eifert gone for the rest of the season.

Up to this point, the team has mostly relied on Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah to take snaps in Eifert’s place. Kroft, 25, has been the more offensively productive of the two, having caught 14 balls for 139 yards and two scores, which both came in the team’s first victory of the year two weeks ago against the Browns.

The Bengals had a bye in Week 6, but will look to build on their current two-game winning streak when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the AFC North division leading Steelers this coming Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/16/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: DL Peli Anau

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: DB Charlie Miller

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Released: LeShun Daniels

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

Opinion: Tyler Eifert Unlikely To Break Bank

  • Given his lengthy injury history, it would be “shocking” to see Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert garner a long-term contract like Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, or Jordan Reed, all of whom earn more than $8.5MM annually, opines Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Eifert, who was placed on injured reserve on Thursday, has only appeared in 39 games over four-plus seasons in the NFL. While his talent is immense (13 touchdowns in 2015), Eifert simply can’t stay on the field, a fact which makes the franchise tag — at a cost north of $10MM — an unlikely option for Cincinnati in 2018. Instead, a one-year, “prove-it” deal for the 27-year-old pass-catcher could conceivably make more sense for both sides.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert Done For Season

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has decided to undergo season-ending back surgery, as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Eifert went under the knife on Thursday for an operation that will sideline him for four-to-six months. The Bengals have officially placed Eifert on injured reserve.Tyler Eifert (Vertical)

Eifert, of course, is no stranger to injury, as he’s appeared in only 39 of a possible 69 games since entering the NFL as a first-round pick in 2013. His history of back ailments dates back to the latter part of the 2016 campaign — after missing the first seven games of last year with an ankle issue suffered in the Pro Bowl, Eifert was placed on injured reserve in December after experiencing back pain.

This latest back issue is reportedly not the same one that bothered Eifert near the tail end of last season, but it will likely affect contractual negotiations with the Bengals nonetheless. Scheduled to become a free agent next spring when his fifth-year option expires, Eifert will now hit the open market amidst a sea of health questions. A long-term deal is still possible, but it seems incredibly unlikely that Cincinnati would now deploy the franchise tag — at a cost north of $10MM — on Eifert.

When on the field, Eifert is clearly one of the more dynamic tight ends in the league. In his best season to date (2015), Eifert appeared in 13 games and managed 52 receptions for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns. That type of production puts Eifert among elite tight end company, but his availability concerns are sure to reduce his market.

The Bengals will go forward with Tyler Kroft, C.J. Uzomah, and Cethan Carter at tight end, while H-back Ryan Hewitt can also play the position. If Cincinnati wants to pursue an outside addition, free agent tight ends include Gary Barnidge, Larry Donnell, Ladarius Green, and Jacob Tamme.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert Done For Year?

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is deciding whether to have the third back surgery of his career, sources tell Field Yates and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). If Eifert has the operation, it will end his season after just two appearances.Tyler Eifert (Vertical)

When healthy, Eifert is one of the NFL’s most dynamic tight ends. Unfortunately, his career has been marred by back, knee, and ankle problems. He missed half of the 2016 season and nearly all of the 2014 season due to injury. In 2015, when he appeared in all but three games, he caught 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl selection.

The 27-year-old is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency next spring after his fifth-year option expires. The Bengals have not allowed a Pro Bowl player under the age of 32 to leave via free agency since 2011, but Eifert’s medical history likely prevented the two sides from agreeing to an extension over the summer.

With a productive and season, Eifert was likely looking at a multi-year deal with a $10MM+ average annual value. If his 2017 campaign ends here in October, he won’t come anywhere near those figures.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tyler Boyd Out Several Weeks

  • Tyler Boyd will also be out for a few weeks, as the Bengals receiver sprained his MCL in Week 5, tweets Rapoport. Boyd, who is facing a possible legal situation and was mysteriously a healthy scratch in Week 2, has been almost completely phased out of Cincinnati’s offense this season. The former second-round pick has been targeted only nine times, and managed just six receptions for 43 yards.

Eifert, Ross Out This Weekend

  • The Bengals will once again be without tight end Tyler Eifert and wide receiver John Ross tomorrow, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Ross, a 2017 first-round pick, has only appeared in one game this season, hauling in a single catch for 12 yards while also losing a fumble. Meanwhile, after collecting 18 touchdowns over the past two seasons, Eifert only has four catches for 46 yards in 2017.

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