Someone's going to draft Tyler Eifert in every league this summer because he scores at about a 50 percent clip. That's great, but he's missed 34 games over the past three seasons with a slew of injuries including a broken ankle in 2018. Can he stay healthy and become a Fantasy superstar like he was in 2015? It's possible, but no one should risk more than a late-round pick on finding out. If his Week 1 matchup looks good, he could be a streaming tight end to begin the year.
Eifert (ankle) has been close to a full participant during the offseason program, Fletcher Page of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. "I'm doing pretty much everything," said Eifert. "There's a couple things here and there but for the most part it's all doing everything with the guys." Working his way back from October surgery, Eifert signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract in March. He seems ahead of where he was at the same point last offseason when he was rehabbing from the third back surgery of his career. It helps that the latest injury is to a different part of his body, but the Bengals will remain cautiously optimistic given that Eifert has missed 53 games in six NFL seasons. The team re-signed C.J. Uzomah to a three-year, $18.3 million contract, then drafted Drew Sample in the second round. New coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan presumably have plans to use all three tight ends.
Eifert's (ankle) one-year contract with Cincinnati includes a $1.2 million signing bonus and $1 million base salary, along with $1.3 million in per-game roster bonuses and up to $2.5 million in incentives, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. The unusual breakdown makes sense: Eifert has played just six games the past two years and 43 total through six NFL seasons. It also makes sense for the Bengals to invest in another option at tight end, with C.J. Uzomah landing a three-year, $18.3 million contract that includes $6.25 million fully guaranteed (per overthecap.com). While history suggests he'll have a tough time staying on the field, Eifert does seem to be on track for some level of involvement in the offseason program, as he resumed jogging by early January and was doing agility work by the end of February. None of that should come as a surprise given that he's now more than five months removed from Sept. 30 ankle surgery with an estimated recovery timeline of 4-to-5 months. Eifert owns career marks of 12.1 yards per catch and 8.4 per target, with 21 touchdowns on 142 receptions -- per-play efficiency has never been the problem.
Eifert (ankle) signed a one-year deal with the Bengals on Saturday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Bengals opted to bring two of their three free agent TEs back this offseason, coming to terms with C.J. Uzomah on Monday, followed by a one-year offer to Eifert just five days later. While the former appears to be a larger part of the Bengals future given the three-year, $18 million contract, Eifert's injury history has understandably resulted in a second straight one-year contract. Given the 28-year-old has played in just six games over the course of the past two seasons, it's quite possible Uzomah is the favorite to start the season, particularly if Eifert's rehabilitation from October ankle surgery takes longer than expected.
Eifert (ankle) tweeted a video of himself going through ladder drills Thursday. The video leaves no doubt Eifert has made significant progress since early January, at which point he was limited to jogging for about 20 minutes at a time. He's now doing lateral movements and agility work, potentially setting the stage for participation in OTAs as he prepares to become an unrestricted free agent for the second straight offseason. Eifert's recovery timetable was estimated at 4-to-5 months after he had surgery Sept. 30 to address a broken right ankle he suffered Week 4. The 28-year-old tight end has played 43 games through six NFL seasons, including just six appearances the past two years.
Eifert (ankle) has resumed jogging, doing so for up to 20 minutes at a time, Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official site reports. Since joining the Bengals as a first-round selection in 2013, Eifert has only played in double-digit games twice in six seasons. Serious injuries have been the common denominator, including a broken right ankle that limited him to four appearances in 2018. Eifert enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent for a second straight year, but with a changing of the guard at head coach for the first time since 2003, the Bengals may opt to move on from the 28-year-old tight end. For his career, he's earned 37 red-zone targets and scored 21 touchdowns in 43 games, so bounce-back potential is evident wherever he lands.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||San Francisco 49ers||4||4.75|
|8||10/27||@Los Angeles Rams||23||7.89|
|13||12/01||New York Jets||6||4.88|
|15||12/15||New England Patriots||18||7.37|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||24||16||206||2||12||12.88||32|