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Free-Agent Setup: Cincinnati Bengals still tight with TE Tyler Eifert

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The Sports Xchange
Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (R) pushes Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) out of bounds during the second half of their NFL game on November 27, 2016 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. File photo by David Tulis/UPI
Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (R) pushes Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) out of bounds during the second half of their NFL game on November 27, 2016 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. File photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Despite an injury-riddled career that included season-ending back surgery in October, the Cincinnati Bengals could bring tight end Tyler Eifert back on a one-year deal and the former Pro Bowler has said he would be open to that.

Center Russell Bodine is a player head coach Marvin Lewis wants to bring back, but former offensive line coach Paul Alexander, who was a big Bodine supporter, is now in Dallas. Andre Smith is another lineman that could return, but not likely as a starter.

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It's unlikely the Bengals will utilize the franchise tag this year with only a small crop of free agents. Quarterback AJ McCarron who won a grievance earlier this month to become an unrestricted free agent and is almost certainly going to seek a starting role elsewhere.

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Unit-by-unit depth chart as of Super Bowl LII. Injured players listed as starters if that was their status when injured.

*Asterisk indicates player ended 2017 season on injured reserve.

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QUARTERBACKS (C-plus): Starter - Andy Dalton. Backups - AJ McCarron (UFA), *Jeff Driskel.

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RUNNING BACKS (C): Starter - Joe Mixon. Backups - Giovani Bernard, *Jeremy Hill (UFA), Brian Hill, *Tra Carson, *Cedric Peerman (UFA), Jarveon Williams.

TIGHT ENDS (C): Starter - *Tyler Eifert (UFA). Backups - Tyler Kroft, C.J. Uzomah, *Mason Schreck, Tyler Kroft, Ryan Hewitt, Cethan Carter.

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WIDE RECEIVERS (B): Starters - A.J. Green, Brandon LaFell. Backups - Tyler Boyd, Cody Core, Alex Erickson, Josh Malone, *John Ross.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (D): Starters - LT Cedric Ogbuehi, LG Clint Boling, C Russell Bodine (UFA), RT *Jake Fisher, RG Trey Hopkins. Backups - LT Justin Murray, RT Kent Perkins, G Alex Redmond, RT *Andre Smith (UFA), C *T.J. Johnson, RT Eric Winston, G Christian Westerman. Addition: T Bobby Hart (signed as free agent).

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (B-plus): Starters - DT Geno Atkins, NT Andrew Billings, LDE Carlos Dunlap, RDE Michael Johnson. Backups - DT Ryan Glasgow, NT Pat Sims (UFA), NT Josh Tupou, RDE Jordan Willis, LDE Chris Smith (UFA).

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LINEBACKERS (B): Starters - WLB Vontaze Burfict, SLB *Nick Vigil, MLB *Kevin Minter (UFA). Backups - SLB Jordan Evans, MLB Vincent Rey, WLB Brandon Bell, SLB Carl Lawson, MLB Hardy Nickerson.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (C-plus): Starters - LCB Dre Kirkpatrick, RCB *Adam Jones, FS George Iloka, SS Shawn Williams. Backups - RCB Darqueze Dennard, FS Clayton Fejedelem, LCB Tony McRae, RCB KeiVarae Russell, LCB Josh Shaw, SS Brandon Wilson, RCB William Jackson.

SPECIAL TEAMS (B): K Randy Bullock, P Kevin Huber (UFA), LS Clark Harris, PR *Adam Jones, KOR Alex Erickson.

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