Bengals sign first-round tight end Tyler Eifert to rookie contract
The 22-year-old Eifert was selected 21st overall out of Notre Dame by the Bengals in the first-round. Although terms of his contract were not revealed by the team, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Eifert received a four-year, $8.256 million (roughly) deal.
Eifert’s signing means that all 10 players drafted by the Bengals this April have already agreed to terms on their rookie contracts with the team.
"We've said all along that we expected Tyler's deal to get done in good time, but it's great to now have all our signings complete," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "All 10 guys can help us by getting off to fast starts, and we are looking for Tyler to lead that. He's shown us everything we wanted to see in our offseason work."
According to NFL.com, Eifert was the 13th first-round pick to sign his rookie contract this offseason. Much of what’s been causing the delay in the rookie signings is related to the offset language and guaranteed numbers. But thanks to the rookie wage scale, there’s no doubt that all rookie contracts will be completed by the time training camp starts in mid-to late July.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Eifert was the Fighting Irish’s starting tight end since his sophomore year. Last season, he started all 13 games, leading the Irish with 685 receiving yards, while also racking up four touchdowns. As a senior at Notre Dame, Eifert also won the 2012 Mackey Award, given to the nations’ top tight ends at collegiate level.
Eifert displayed rare receiving skills during his collegiate career. He set the school record for most career receptions (140) and receiving yards (1,840) by a tight end. Eifert also scored 11 touchdowns during his Notre Dame career.
With Eifert, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden gets another weapon for an attack that features receiver A.J. Green, tight end Jermaine Gresham running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the potentially developing wideout Mohammed Sanu.
Eifert has lined up at various receiving spots during offseason practices as the Bengals offense is expected to feature plenty of two-tight end sets this season.
Moreover, adding Eifert and second-round running back Giovani Bernard to the Bengals’ potent offense should give Andy Dalton the types of weapons he needs to potentially further develop as a quarterback.