Bengals retain free agents TE Tyler Eifert, P Kevin Huber
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals agreed to a one-year deal with often-injured tight end Tyler Eifert and a three-year deal with punter Kevin Huber on Thursday, holding onto two of their unrestricted free agents.
Eifert has been hurt during much of his five-year career in Cincinnati. He was sidelined for half of the 2016 season because of an ankle injury and a problem with a disc in his back that required surgery. He aggravated his back early last season and went on an injury list after two games.
“Couldn’t be happier to stay home in Cincinnati,” Eifert tweeted . “The last five years have been tough at times but every day I have been proud to be on the (at)Bengals.”
The Bengals took Eifert with the 21st overall choice in the 2013 draft, hoping his pass receiving skills would upgrade their offense. He’s been one of Andy Dalton’s favorite targets, especially near the goal line, but has been severely limited by injuries in three of his five seasons.
The Bengals finished last in the NFL in offense last season for the first time in their history.
Eifert caught 39 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games as a rookie. The following year, he hurt his shoulder during training camp and dislocated an elbow in the opener, ending his season. He returned and had his best season in 2015, caching 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns, a franchise record for a tight end.
He made the Pro Bowl that season and tore a ligament in his ankle during the game, requiring surgery. He returned and played in eight games in 2016, making 29 catches for 394 yards and five touchdowns, but an injured back disc ended the season and resulted in more surgery.
Huber has spent all 10 seasons with Cincinnati. He had 32 punts inside the 20-yard line last season, fourth in the NFL.