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

By The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 25, 2018 at 7:54 PM
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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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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).

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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