On Saturday, the Bengals wrapped up the first week of free agency by re-signing TE Tyler Eifert to a one-year deal.
Eifert, who has struggled with injuries ever since being drafted with the 21st overall pick of the 2013 draft, is getting one more chance to prove he can stay healthy and be a big part of the Bengals’ offense.
Even though Eifert has never played a full season in his NFL career, he is one of the best tight ends in the NFL when he is healthy. The Bengals are hoping for as much effort as he can contribute to this offense that always struggles without him.
Though Eifert’s absence wasn’t the only problem the Bengals suffered through last season, the team was 4-1 with him and 2-9 after an ankle injury ended his season prematurely.
We’re not sure how much his contract is worth at this point, but you have to imagine it is heavily incentivized like the one he received last year.
The Bengals did re-sign C.J. Uzomah to a three-year deal earlier this week, so the Bengals have other options at tight end. They also have Mason Schreck and Jordan Franks under contract, but the Bengals may still try to add another TE in the next few weeks.
Either way, there are few players in the NFL that can replicate the production of a healthy Eifert, so we will hope he can stay on the field as much as possible.
What do you think about the Eifert signing?
Geno Atkins had a good, but not elite, year in fantasy. He was the #516 ranked fantasy player this season. Even though he missed a few games, he played enough to make his overall fantasy rank better than what it is based on average fantasy points where he is the #59 defensive lineman. His production dropped throughout the season.
In his first 4 games he averaged 5 FPs and that declined to 3.3 in his final 5 games. His fantasy production is more volatile that most players based on having a relatively high standard deviation. When he is good, he is really good but when he is off, he is really off. He averaged 3.2 FPs, but on any given day his projected ceiling is as high as 12 fantasy points. Geno Atkins (2019 Season Projection: 23 Solo, 15 Ast, 7.9 Sacks, 1.7 PDs) is projected to take a significant step downward in the upcoming fantasy season. His rank based on total projected fantasy points has him as the #63 player at his position.
Getting older predictably resulted in a drop in production. His fantasy average dropped by 26 percent.
Geno Atkins played in 15 games in 2018. He was the #34 ranked fantasy DL based on total fantasy points. He averaged 3.2 FP per game (#58 ranked based on average). He is trending down based on lower per game fantasy ranking from 2017 to 2018. He is relatively stronger (stats bolded below) than weaker in more categories.
CINCINNATI — Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins has been voted onto the American Football Conference’s 2019 Pro Bowl starting team, according to a Tuesday night news release from the Bengals.
The Jan. 27 game will be Atkins’ seventh Pro Bowl, making him the most-selected defensive Bengals player in team history.
“It’s very rewarding for him to be elected to the Pro Bowl again,” head coach Marvin Lewis said in the news release. “He deserves it.”
Fellow Bengals A.J. Green, Joe Mixon, S. Clayton Fejedelem and Alex Erickson were also named to the team as alternates.
Vontaze Burfict posts heartfelt message to Bengals fans
Now a member of the Oakland Raiders, the normally-quiet Burfict hasn’t been so about his departure. He took to Instagram to post a heartfelt message to Bengals fans on his way out the door.
Raiders to meet with ex-Bengals safety George Iloka
The Bengals cut Iloka last summer after six years, including the previous five as a stellar starter. After landing in Minnesota with Mike Zimmer on a one-year deal, Iloka played sparingly, totaling just 110 defensive snaps, per Next Gen Stats.
When Jake Fisher was drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals, the team was hoping that he would develop into a quality starting tackle for the squad. Paired with first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi, the Bengals anticipated that they had their offensive tackle situation figured out for years to come.
Bengals’ Zac Taylor attended Ohio State’s pro day
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has been a busy man between the start of free agency and the peppering of pro days around the country.
Cincinnati Bengals star wideout A.J. Green is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season.
In theory, the Bengals will work with Green and get an extension done this offseason. He’s said he will let the deal run its course and he wants to stay with the team.
But the realities of the situation are more complex. This is especially evident in light of Melissa Whitworth recently writing about the harsh negotiations between her husband, Andrew, and the Bengals front office before the offensive tackle left for the Los Angeles Rams.
At one point, it was easy to see Whitworth staying with the Bengals for the duration of his career. But a variety of factors got in the way. And some of these same factors could play a role in talks with Green.
Green is, after all, going to be 31 years old in July. The age of 30 isn’t some terrible number many often make it out to be, but it typically marks a downswing in players’ careers.
Coinciding with this is the fact Green has had two of his last three seasons derailed by injury. He’s missed 13 games over the past three years, just squeezing past the 1,000-yard mark with eight touchdowns in the outlier, his 16-game showing in 2017. Since his big-money extension in September 2015, Green has recorded two 1,000-yard seasons.
Another Bengals offseason and another filled with quarterback discussions. The line in the sand about Andy Dalton has never been more defined among the fan base as it is now, given the new coaching regime that has taken power.
For years, the Bengals’ plan with Dalton was to constantly surround him with above-average-to-elite talent. While he himself has proven to play at an above-average level, it’s usually when the cabinet is stockpiled with weaponry. In fact, one of the main criticisms of Dalton is in his play being raised by that of others, instead of the opposite being more commonplace.
Back in 2015, the team had its zenith of talent on offense. Cincinnati’s offensive line was solid, while A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu parlayed their performances into big free agency paydays the following spring. Shortly after, Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth, the two best players on the offensive line, also bolted in free agency. Throw in an abject failure of a 2015 draft class and we can see where things have fallen off a cliff the past three seasons, in terms of wins and losses.
Dalton played admirably through personnel issues and eventual injuries in 2017-2018, but he hasn’t regained that near-MVP form of 2015. Essentially, the Bengals have done a disservice to their starting quarterback and have shied away from their blueprint from 2011-2014.
But, the past is in the past, right?
Well, not when you look at what some teams have done for their young signal-callers this offseason. The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns immediately spring to mind.
The Browns have added Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham, Jr. on offense, along with Olivier Vernon on defense. Yes, they lost Zeitler in the trade for Vernon, but Hunt and Beckham join 2018 offseason additions Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry. In short, Baker Mayfield is one happy camper, as the Cleveland Browns are now the unanimous favorite to win the AFC North.
Josh Allen didn’t have as outstanding of a rookie year as Mayfield, but showed certain signs of promise. While weapons were limited last year, Buffalo has added the ageless Frank Gore, as well as Cole Beasley and former Bengals tight end, Tyler Kroft. It’s not as star-studded of a group as the one Cleveland landed, but the point stands in both club doing what they can in propping up their quarterbacks for future success.