Drew Sample

Bengals Re-Sign TE Drew Sample

The tight end spot has been the source of speculation with respect to the Bengals. An addition could still be coming, but an in-house contributor will remain in place. The team announced on Monday that Drew Sample re-signed on a three-year deal.

After playing out a one-year contract in 2023, Sample will be tied to a $10.5MM accord (per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The Bengals will probably still be on the hunt for a pass-catching option at tight end, but they have one piece of the puzzle solved.

Sample has been with the Bengals since they chose him in the 2019 second round. Cincinnati drew some scrutiny for making that pick, as Sample did not have an extensive pass-catching history at Washington. That has continued in Ohio, though Sample has been a key presence in the Bengals’ run game.

The 6-foot-4 tight end has only topped 175 receiving yards in one season — back in 2020. Pro Football Focus graded Sample as a top-15 run-blocking tight end last season, which came after he re-signed on a one-year deal worth just $1.23MM. The Bengals saw enough from the 27-year-old tight end to make a bigger investment this time, though the guarantees will tell the tale.

Cincinnati let C.J. Uzomah walk in 2022 and Hayden Hurst leave for Carolina in 2023; both players are back on the market, bringing an interesting opportunity for the team. Hunter Henry and Dalton Schultz re-signed before free agency, thinning out the TE market.

Contract Details: Hurts, Robinson, Ward, Perryman, Anderson

Here are some details on deals signed recently around the NFL:

  • Jalen Hurts, QB (Eagles): Five years, $255MM. We had received some broad numbers from the deal, and some details still elude us, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided some cap numbers recently. Hurts will represent a $6.15MM cap hit in 2023, $13.56MM in 2024, $21.77MM in 2025, and $31.77MM in 2026.
  • Allen Robinson, WR (Steelers): Three years, $46.5MM. We covered some details, like how the Rams will pay most of Robinson’s 2023 salary in a nearly two-to-one split. According to Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com, the Rams will additionally take on $21.45MM of dead money for Robinson moving forward, pushing them up to about $74MM of dead cap in 2023.
  • Jimmie Ward, S (Texans): Two years, $13MM. The deal, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, has a guaranteed amount of $8.5MM consisting of a $4MM signing bonus, Ward’s 2023 base salary of $2.5MM, and $2MM of his 2024 base salary (worth $5.5MM total). Ward will receive a per game active roster bonus of $29,411 for a potential season total of $500,000. The contract also includes an annual playing time incentive. If Ward plays 60% of the team’s defensive snaps, he’ll receive an additional $250,000. He’ll get two more $250,000 bonuses for reaching both the 70% and 80% snap share totals, as well.
  • Denzel Perryman, LB (Texans): One year, $2.6MM. We were aware that Perryman could push the value of his deal to $3.5MM with incentives, but thanks to Wilson, we now know how he can do that. The additional $900,000 is based on playing time. Perryman can earn $300,000 bonuses for reaching each of the 60%, 70% and 80% thresholds of defensive snap shares for the Texans.
  • Eric Rowe, S (Panthers): One year, $1.32MM. The deal, according to Wilson, has a guaranteed amount of $852,500 consisting of a $152,500 signing bonus and $700,000 of Rowe’s base salary (worth a total of $1.17MM).
  • Kris Boyd, CB (Cardinals): One year, $1.23MM. The contract, according to Wilson, has a signing bonus of $152,500 and a base salary of $1.08MM.
  • Dante Pettis, WR (Bears): One year, $1.23MM. The deal, according to Wilson, includes a signing bonus of $152,500 and a base salary of $1.08MM.
  • Troy Reeder, LB (Vikings): One year, $1.23MM. The contract, according to Wilson, has a guaranteed amount of $100,000 consisting partially of a $25,000 signing bonus. Reeder’s base salary will be $1.08MM, and he can receive an additional workout bonus $25,000 and a roster bonus of $102,500 if he’s active Week 1. The deal includes a per game active roster bonus of $6,029 for a potential season total of $102,500.
  • Drew Sample, TE (Bengals): One year, $1.23MM. The contract, according to Wilson, has a signing bonus of $52,500 and a base salary of $1.08MM. Sample will also receive a roster bonus of $75,000 and a workout bonus of $25,000.
  • Armon Watts, DT (Steelers): One year, $1.23MM. The contract, according to Wilson, has a signing bonus of $152,500 and a base salary of $1.08MM.
  • Elijah Wilkinson, OL (Cardinals): One year, $1.23MM. The deal, according to Wilson, has a guaranteed amount of $1.09MM consisting of a $152,500 signing bonus and $940,000 of Wilkinson’s base salary (worth a total of $1.08MM).
  • Khadarel Hodge, WR (Falcons): One year, $1.2MM. The contract, according to Wilson, has a base salary of $1.08 and a roster bonus of $120,000 if he is active for Atlanta’s first game of the season. The deal also includes a per game active roster bonus of $7,500 for a potential season total of $127,500.
  • Chosen Anderson, WR (Dolphins): One year, $1.17MM. The deal, according to Wilson, includes a signing bonus of $152,500.
  • John Penisini, DL (Panthers): One year, $940,000, according to Wilson.
  • Kevin Jarvis, OL (Bills): One year, $750,000, according to Wilson.

Bengals Re-Sign TE Drew Sample

Losing their starting tight end in free agency for a second straight offseason, the Bengals may be looking to add at the position in the draft. But they brought back one of their previous high picks at the position Friday as well.

Drew Sample is returning to Cincinnati on a one-year deal, according to the team. The Bengals used a second-round pick on Sample back in 2019, and the former C.J. Uzomah and Hayden Hurst backup/blocking specialist will outlast both in Ohio. Hurst signed with the Panthers — on this year’s most lucrative free agency tight end deal — early in free agency.

An early-season knee injury, which required surgery, limited Sample to two games last year. Prior to this Bengals reunion, Sample visited the Cardinals. Rather than join a retooling team with Zach Ertz and Trey McBride in the fold, he will stay in Cincy’s Joe Burrow-piloted offense. Sample will now join Irv Smith Jr. in the Bengals’ tight end room; the former Vikings second-round pick signed with the Bengals this offseason.

Sample, who will turn 27 on Sunday, has not factored into the Bengals’ passing attack prominently since arriving as the No. 52 overall pick four years ago. The 6-foot-4 tight end has only topped 100 receiving yards in one season. But he did play 868 offensive snaps during the 2020 slate, topping out with 40 catches for 349 yards and his only career touchdown. Since, Sample has just 13 receptions.

But the Bengals have predominantly used the former Washington performer in the run game. Sample worked extensively as a blocker during his rookie contract. Although it is not certain Joe Mixon will be back for a seventh season, the Bengals plan on having Sample helping Mixon or his replacement find running room in 2023.

NFL Workout Notes: Moore, Cards, 49ers

After a career year in Houston, wide receiver Chris Moore is seeking a new contract for 2023. The veteran looked at a division rival, visiting the Titans yesterday, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Moore spent the first five years of his career with the Ravens, having his best offensive season with Baltimore in 2017 when he caught 18 balls for 248 yards and three touchdowns. His role diminished over time until he found himself contributing mostly on special teams. He returned to a role on offense with the Texans while still serving as a core special teamer. Over his two years in Houston, Moore has had two games over 100 receiving yards and several other strong contributions en route to 96 receptions for 775 yards and four touchdowns.

In Tennessee, Moore would be joining an extremely thin wide receiving corps that currently consists of Treylon Burks, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Kyle Philips, Racey McMath, Reggie Roberson, and Mason Kinsey. He would likely slot in as a starter at WR2 or WR3 and could still provide for the Titans on special teams.

Here are a few more workouts from around the league:

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/3/22

Here’s today’s minor moves from around the league, including a couple practice squad elevations for tonight’s NFC West matchup:

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Bengals TE Drew Sample To Undergo Surgery, Miss Months

The Bengals will be without one of their tight ends for a while, perhaps the rest of the season. Drew Sample will be sidelined for “several months” due to knee surgery, Zac Taylor said Wednesday.

Sample suffered the knee injury during the Bengals’ Week 2 loss in Dallas. The fourth-year tight end started in each of Cincinnati’s first two games. This comes at a bad time for Sample, who is in a contract year. Initial tests revealed MCL and PCL damage, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler, who adds this is likely a season-ending injury (Twitter link). Sample will undoubtedly be moved to IR soon.

A former second-round pick, Sample has started 25 games with the Bengals. The team has not viewed the University of Washington product as a pass-catching regular, preferring C.J. Uzomah and Hayden Hurst in those roles in recent years. Sample did catch 40 passes for 349 yards and a touchdown in 2020, however, when he saw action on 81% of Cincinnati’s offensive snaps. He played all 21 Bengals games last season, seeing a 42% snap share.

Cincinnati signed Hurst this offseason and claimed former third-round pick Devin Asiasi off waivers from the Patriots. Third-year UDFA Mitchell Wilcox rounds out the defending AFC champions’ tight end room, which lost Uzomah after the longtime Bengal signed with the Jets in March. The Bengals were connected to O.J. Howard, hosting him on a visit just before the season, but the ex-Buccaneers starter signed with the Texans.

TE Rumors: Dissly, Texans, Sample, Giants

The SeahawksWill Dissly contract — a three-year, $24MM deal featuring nearly $16MM in total guarantees — surprised most, but the injury-prone tight end indeed generated interest outside of Seattle. The Broncos and Buccaneers were two of Dissly’s other suitors, according to Adam Jude of the Seattle Times, who detailed the former fourth-round pick’s path to that $8MM-per-year contract. Dissly, who experienced early-career injuries and put up light receiving statistics in his two healthy years (45 receptions, 482 yards since 2020), was both concerned about his free agency value and wondering if he would need to wait a bit into free agency for teams to take care of higher-priority players, Jude adds. But Dissly struck a deal on Day 1 of the legal tampering period, re-signing with a Seahawks team that had acquired Noah Fant days earlier.

A reunion with Russell Wilson in Denver was on the table, per Jude, who notes another offer Dissly received was “in the ballpark” of what Seattle proposed. At least six teams expressed interest as well, though it sounds like the Broncos were the Seahawks’ top competitor here. But the team, valuing Dissly as a blocker, made the Washington alum a priority. The Broncos drafted Greg Dulcich in Round 3 a month later.

Here is the latest from the tight end scene:

  • With C.J. Uzomah out of the picture, Drew Sample‘s Bengals role figures to expand a bit. But the defending AFC champions will be without Sample for a bit. Sample suffered a knee injury recently, and although Zac Taylor said the fourth-year pass catcher will likely be out multiple weeks, ESPN.com’s Ben Baby tweets. Sample may be dealing with an MCL sprain, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The Bengals have Sample, a former second-round pick in a contract year, and signed former first-rounder Hayden Hurst to replace Uzomah.
  • The Texans did not generate much from their tight end spot last season; Jordan Akins‘ 214 receiving yards led the position group. The team let Akins sign with the Giants in free agency and did not add a notable replacement. Lovie Smith‘s squad is planning to open the season with veteran Pharaoh Brown as the starter here, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com notes. Brown, who re-signed with the Texans this offseason on a one-year deal worth $3.5MM, caught 23 passes for just 171 yards last season. The Texans have 2021 fifth-round pick Brevin Jordan and used a fifth-rounder this year on Teagan Quitoriano. Both young players will defer to Brown, a sixth-year presence, to start the season.
  • In addition to Akins, the Giants have Ricky Seals-Jones and fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger — already a starter candidate — at tight end. Rookie UDFAs Jeremiah Hall and Andre Miller have each gotten fullback snaps with the first-team offense during training camp, per The Athletic’s Dan Duggan (subscription required). This marks a notable shift for Miller, a wide receiver at Division I-FCS Maine. Post-Evan Engram, this remains one of the NFL’s most uncertain tight end groups.

Bengals Place TE Drew Sample On IR

Bengals tight end Drew Sample is done for the year. The team placed the rookie on injured reserve this morning, reports Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). Cincy promoted safety Trayvon Henderson from the practice squad to take the open roster spot (per Dragon on Twitter).

The Bengals used a second-round pick on Sample in this past year’s draft. The Washington product found himself playing behind a (relatively) healthy Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah on the depth chart, hauling in five catches for 30 yards in nine games (two starts). The six-foot-four tight end suffered an ankle injury in his team’s Week 10 loss to the Ravens.

Henderson, 24, sat out his entire rookie campaign with a torn ACL. The Bengals waived the defensive back following the 2019 preseason, and Henderson later caught on with their practice squad. Safety Brandon Wilson has already been ruled out for tomorrow’s game against the Browns with a hand injury. Safety Shawn Williams is also listed on the injury report with an ankle injury.

Injury Updates: Barkley, 49ers, Lockett

The Giants may be a long shot to make the postseason, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to shut down their star players. When asked if the team would rest running back Saquon Barkley, head coach Pat Shurmur responded with an emphatic “absolutely not” (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).

Shurmur had previously acknowledged that Barkley was a bit banged up, and that was evident after the running back compiled a single rushing yard on 13 carries during the Giants’ loss to the Jets on Sunday. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Barkley had an X-ray on his shoulder after the game. There was some thought that the 22-year-old was suffering from an ankle or leg injury, but Barkley acknowledged that his legs are still feeling good.

The Giants and Barkley will look to get back on track when they return from their bye week. The team will visit the Bears on November 24th.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • We’ve got some updates on key 49ers skill players. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes (on Twitter) that wideout Emmanuel Sanders‘s s-rays for a rib injury were inconclusive. The veteran was set to undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the “damage.” Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that running back Matt Breida will get a second opinion on his sprained ankle. While the injury isn’t thought to be serious, Breida may still be sidelined for several games.
  • Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett was at the hospital last night getting treatment for a leg contusion, but Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com passes along that the receiver is alright. Coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN that the bruise caused a “pretty severe situation” thanks to the subsequent swelling, and Lockett didn’t return with the team to Seattle. The 27-year-old is having another productive season, hauling in 62 receptions for 793 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Some good news out of Indy: Colts coach Frank Reich told reporters that wideout Devin Funchess should return to practice this week. “Technically, he could be cleared to play the game,” Reich said (via Jim Ayello of the Indy Star). “But he’s got a few more boxes to check. We have to make sure he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we still have to see how much he’ll be able to do Wednesday. We’re really encouraged. I think there’s another box he has to check before we can go full boar on the practice.” Funchess landed on the IR after breaking his collarbone during the season opener.
  • Bengals tight end Drew Sample suffered a high ankle sprain this past weekend, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The 2019 second-rounder will undergo additional tests to determine how much time he’ll miss, but Rapoport notes that he’s a candidate for the injured reserve. The rookie has hauled in five catches for 30 yards in nine games (two starts) this season.

Bengals Sign Jonah Williams, Drew Sample

The Bengals signed first-round offensive tackle Jonah Williams and second-round tight end Drew Sample, according to a team announcement. Williams was selected No. 11 overall while Sample was taken 41 picks later with the No. 52 choice. 

Williams entered draft weekend as a strong candidate for the top 10. But, after the Giants shocked the world by taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall, things changed radially for the Alabama product and other top prospects. The early shakeup led to the Jaguars taking Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen at No. 7, which allowed the Lions to opt for Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson at No. 8 instead of Williams. That worked out just fine for the Bengals, who were able to stand pat and land the best tackle in this year’s class.

Sample, meanwhile, used his 6’5″ frame to block effectively at Washington. He didn’t light up the stat sheet with just 25 catches for 252 yards in 2018, but he could develop into more of an offensive playmaker with time.