C.J. Uzomah

Jets Activate Mekhi Becton, Carl Lawson, C.J. Uzomah From PUP List

JULY 26: Some good Jets news emerged Tuesday; Becton, Lawson and Uzomah are off the team’s active/PUP list in time for the start of veterans’ training camp workouts. While Lawson will be expected to anchor the team’s edge rush — a role his late-summer 2021 Achilles tear delayed — Becton has more to prove. The 2020 first-round pick has run into rampant health- and weight-related concerns. His coming off the PUP list so soon represents a nice development for the Jets, who are planning to slot him at either left or right tackle. Of course, Becton’s stock has dropped dramatically since his quality rookie season. That raises the stakes for his 2022 training camp.

JULY 21: The Jets placed five players on the physically unable to perform list today, including three offensive linemen. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter), offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, offensive tackle George Fant, defensive end Carl Lawson, tight end C.J. Uzomah, and guard Dru Samia all landed on PUP.

Becton and Fant are set to compete for the starting left tackle role, with the “loser” settling in at right tackle. However, at least to start camp, the two starting offensive tackles will be sidelined as they recover from knee injuries. Becton was limited to only one game in 2021 before suffering his injury, and since health- and conditioning-related concerns have dogged the early part of his NFL career, an early absence won’t help his case in the LT competition. Fant, meanwhile, started 15 games for the Jets last season before suffering a knee injury that ultimately required offseason surgery. If either of the two offensive tackles are forced to miss time, the Jets could turn to the likes of Connor McDermott, Chuma Edoga, and fourth-round rookie Max Mitchell.

Lawson joined the Jets last year on a three-year, $45MM pact, but a torn Achilles during preseason forced him to miss the entire campaign. Considering the Jets could easily move on from the defensive end following the 2022 season, this could end up being a make-or-break year when it comes to Lawson’s future in New York. Uzomah joined the Jets on a three-year deal this offseason after setting career-highs across the board in 2021 with the Bengals (49 receptions, 493 yards, five touchdowns). He’s currently dealing with an undisclosed injury.

Samia spent most of the 2021 season on the Jets practice squad. He’s seen time in 15 career games, including 13 appearances for the Vikings in 2020.

Jets To Sign TE C.J. Uzomah

After seven seasons in Cincinnati, C.J. Uzomah will have a new home. The veteran tight end agreed to terms with the Jets on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

It’s a three-year, $24MM deal for the longtime Bengals pass catcher. Uzomah is coming off his best season, having helped the Bengals to their first Super Bowl in 33 years, and ended it by playing hurt against the Rams. The former fifth-round pick will cash in.

The Bengals spent money on two interior offensive linemen Monday — Alex Cappa and Ted Karras — and will let one of Joe Burrow‘s weapons walk. The team still has Burrow’s top three targets — Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd — under contract, softening the blow of Uzomah’s defection.

Still, Uzomah was a popular presence in Cincinnati’s locker room and worked as a key complementary target for the rising team. The 6-foot-6 tight end overcame an MCL sprain in the AFC championship game to play in Super Bowl LVI. After combining for 13 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ first two playoff games, he caught two passes in the team’s loss to the Rams.

Uzomah, 29, established new career-high marks across the board in 2021 by catching 49 passes for 493 yards and five touchdowns. Working his way up after playing behind Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft, Uzomah has been a regular starter in Cincinnati for the past four seasons. He will head to the Jets to help out Zach Wilson. Ryan Griffin led Jets tight ends with just 27 receptions for 261 yards last year.

Cardinals, TE Zach Ertz Closing In On Deal

After acquiring tight end Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles in mid-October of last year, the Cardinals are finalizing a new multi-year deal for the nine-year veteran, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The three-year deal is set to keep the 31-year-old among the top-10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. 

Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler who set the NFL-record for single-season receptions for a tight end in 2018 with 116 catches, which trailed only Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas for the league lead among all pass-catchers. Ertz was consistently productive in Philadelphia, recording five-straight seasons with at least 800 receiving yards.

After taking a back seat role to the Eagles’ younger tight end Dallas Goedert, the Cardinals made the move to acquire Ertz and watched him thrive in the new system. Ertz’s 11 games in Arizona in 2021 showed far more production than the 11 games he played in Philadelphia the year prior. With wide receivers Christian Kirk and A.J. Green set to hit the free agent market this week, locking down their tight end was a must.

The three-year deal will be worth $31.65MM with a guaranteed amount of $17.5MM. The annual average value of $10.55MM ranks 10th among NFL tight ends, just below David Njoku, Mike Gesicki, and Dalton Schultz, who got franchise tagged for $10.93MM. With this deal Ertz is now off the crowded tight end market, along with the three who were tagged. Remaining options for those looking for tight ends are C.J. Uzomah, Robert Tonyan, Evan Engram, and Will Dissly.

C.J. Uzomah On Track To Play In Super Bowl

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Bengals in the build-up to Super Bowl LVI has been the availability of tight end C.J. Uzomah. The news appears to be positive on his health status, as he is “tracking to play on Sunday”, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). 

[Related: Latest On Bengals’ C.J. Uzomah]

Uzomah suffered an MCL injury in the team’s AFC Championship game against the Chiefs before registering a catch. That put his status in serious doubt, even with the extra week off to heal. However, he has maintained throughout his media availabilities that he would be able to suit up for the title game.

As Rapoport notes, the 29-year-old missed practice on Wednesday, but put in a limited session on Thursday. His colleague James Palmer tweets that Uzomah is also expected to participate in today’s lighter, but final, practice today. That further points to the Bengals having their full array of pass-catchers available.

Uzomah had a career year in 2021, posting 49 catches for 493 yards and five touchdowns in 16 regular season games. He also played a large role in Cincinnati’s playoff wins over the Raiders and Titans, making a combined 13 receptions for 135 yards and one score. Regardless of if he is able to play on Sunday or not, the pending free agent has likely earned himself a big payday come the offseason.

Assuming Uzomah is able to suit up, the Bengals’ offense will be at full strength, maximizing their chances of pulling off another upset.

Latest On Bengals’ C.J. Uzomah

The Bengals are headed to the Super Bowl. Still, it remains to be seen whether they’ll have tight end C.J. Uzomah on the field when they arrive.

[RELATED: Inside The Dolphins’ Pursuit Of Joe Burrow]

The initial belief is Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah has suffered an MCL sprain (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Uzomah will undergo an MRI later today to determine the extent of the damage and his timetable for recovery.

Uzomah went down with a left knee injury in the first quarter, forcing him to the sidelines. After doctors took a closer look, he was carted off to the locker room and officially ruled out for the remainder of the game. Without him, the Bengals still managed to pull off a thrilling overtime upset, beating the Chiefs 27-24 and earning their first Super Bowl trip in decades.

The 29-year-old has been outstanding so far in the playoffs, notching a total of 13 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders and Titans. He did not register a catch before his early exit on Sunday and it remains to be seen whether he’ll get the opportunity to play two weeks from today.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/18/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bengals’ C.J. Uzomah Done For Year

It’s now official. On Friday morning, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor confirmed that tight end C.J. Uzomah will miss the remainder of the year with a torn Achilles tendon. Uzomah will be placed on injured reserve, freeing up a spot on the club’s active roster. 

Uzomah seemed on course for a big year after catching eight of Joe Burrow‘s eleven targets for 87 yards and a touchdown. Now, he’ll have to turn his focus to 2021. In the interim, Drew Sample seems poised for a larger role in the offense, and the Bengals will likely look to add another tight end off the bench to join Cethan Carter. Fortunately, the Bengals are rostering two tight ends on their expanded practice squad in Mitchell Wilcox and Mason Schreck.

Through two games, Burrow has been dialed in on Uzomah and wide receiver Tyler Boyd, who has eleven grabs for 105 yards and 1 TD thus far. It’s possible that Sample will absorb all of Uzomah’s would-be looks, and he might be able to capitalize on them in similar fashion. As a rookie last year, Sample registered just five receptions through nine games. Now, he’s looking like more than a blocking TE. Last night, he finished out with seven catches for 45 yards.

Torn Achilles For Bengals’ C.J. Uzomah?

The Bengals fear that tight end C.J. Uzomah has torn his Achilles, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). There is at least hope for better news, as the last medical check was inconclusive. After an MRI today, the Bengals will know for sure.

[RELATED: Bengals Place G Xavier Su’a-Filo On IR]

Uzomah was off to a hot start before he was carted off the field on Thursday night. Through two games – or, one game-and-change – Uzomah had eight catches for 87 yards, including last night’s 23-yard second quarter touchdown reception, Joe Burrow‘s first TD throw as a pro.

Uzomah, 27, broke out in 2018 with 43 catches for 439 yards and three scores. After that, the Bengals rewarded the former fifth-round pick with a new three-year, $18MM+ contract. Uzomah’s numbers weren’t as gaudy last year, but he was on course for a big 2020, especially considering his rapport with Burrow.

For now, the Bengals are left with second-year pro Drew Sample as their top tight end. Cethan Carter, a former UDFA out of Nebraska, will move up to the TE2 slot.

Bengals Re-Sign TE C.J. Uzomah

Tight end C.J. Uzomah has agreed to terms on a new deal with the Bengals. The fresh pact will be a three-year deal worth upwards of $18MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Uzomah, 26, set new career highs in catches (43), yards (439), and touchdowns (3) in 2018. The Bengals aimed to keep Uzomah, especially with Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft also bound for free agency, and they got a deal done on the first day of the legal tampering period.

Eifert has missed an astounding 34 games since his 2015 Pro Bowl season, but the team reportedly still has some level of interest in retaining him. Kroft also lost time due to injury, but there’s reportedly a path for him to return as well.

Draft Signings: Eagles, Steelers, Bengals, Jags

Coming into today, fewer than 90 players selected in the 2015 NFL draft remained unsigned, with well over half of this year’s 256 draftees having reached agreements with their respective teams. A few more rookie have struck deals with their clubs today, so let’s round up the latest news, with all contract info coming from Over the Cap:

  • The Eagles have finished deals with all six of their draftees, agreeing to terms today with third-round linebacker Jordan Hicks, according to the team (Twitter link). Hicks’ four-year deal will be worth a little under $3MM, including a signing bonus of about $653K.
  • The Steelers have signed fifth-round tight end Jesse James to his rookie contract, leaving the team with three unsigned picks, including first-rounder Bud Dupree (Twitter link via the club’s official account).
  • The Bengals have signed tight end C.J. Uzomah, their fifth-round pick out of Auburn, the team announced today (via Twitter). The second tight end selected by Cincinnati in the draft, Uzomah will count against the Bengals’ cap for just over $488K in 2015, assuming he makes the regular season roster.
  • The Jaguars have now locked up half their draft picks, signing seventh-round tight end Ben Koyack to his contract today, per John Oehser of Jaguars.com (Twitter link). Koyack will receive a signing bonus worth approximately $69K on his first NFL deal.