Tate, a fifth-year veteran, spent the previous two seasons with the Bengals after opening his career in New England. In 2012, Tate finished with 13 catches, 211 receiving yards and a touchdown in 16 games. An accomplished returner, Tate led the Bengals in kick return yards with 795 last season. Tate's 24.8-yards per kickoff return ranked in the Top 20 overall among regular NFL returners.
Lacking star power at receiver beyond two-time Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Green, the Bengals entered the offseason needing to upgrade the position. Tate tied with Mohamed Sanu for seventh on the Bengals in targets last season with 25. By comparison, Green was targeted 164 times. Plagued by knee problems early in his career, Tate was limited to returning duties in his first season with the Bengals.
Before the signings of Adam-Pacman Jones and Josh Johnson earlier this week, the Bengals had more than $30 million in cap space available, according to Spotrac.com. Few options remain at wide receiver in free agency, but Brandon Lloyd, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Titus Young are available on the open market.
There is more depth at the position in the NFL Draft if the Bengals opt to wait several more weeks before adding another option for Andy Dalton. In CBSSports.com's latest projections, close to a dozen receivers have received at least a second-round grade. Former University of Tennessee wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, the top-ranked receiver, is rated No. 11 overall.
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