Disclaimer: This article is coming from a place of salt.
Free agency can be such a double-edged sword, one day you’re on the top of the world because your team was active in free agency, signing DJ reader and other free agents from around the league to bulk up their roster and the next minute you’re robbed of the future “Joe Burrow to Tyler Eifert highlights” because your team decided to let an ex-team captain, leader in the locker room and hell of tight end (when healthy) walk and sign with another team.
The Bengals have been so-so in free agency, adding DJ Reader, Josh Bynes and a pair of Vikings corners. But they have lost Darqueze Dennard, Andrew Billings and Nick Vigil, 3 guys who have played a bunch for the Bengals in the past few years and have never really hit their full potential. But for some reason this Ian Rapoport tweet just slapped differently.
Anyone who’s been a fan of the NFL for the past five years Knows that Tyler Eifert’s name is synonymous with injury. The Bengal’s star tight end was drafted in 2013 and broke out in 2015 where he racked up over 600 yards and 13 touchdowns.
As a matter of fact, the first Bengals game I attended live was in Eifert’s breakout year (2015) in Oakland, vs the Raiders, where Eifert had 104 yards and two touchdowns in a Cincinnati 33 to 13 rout.
Let’s back track to his injury history a little bit. I googled “Tyler Eifert injury” and one of the first links that appeared was from Sportsinjurypredictor.com. This site is pretty sick and cruel, but they are credible and pretty accurate from what I can tell. Here’s what they had when you search Tyler Eifert on their website.
I know that’s a pretty long list to take in (trust me, I know), and with a list like that youre probably thinking, “Why or how the hell is he still playing football?” All the injurys from 2013-2017 have fully healed, and in 2018 against the Atlanta Falcons, Tyler Eifert was looking like was going to duplicate his 2015 pro bowl season. Until this happened:
As you guys can tell, it doesn’t take a genius to see that Tyler Eifert has essentially been a LEGO for his entire career in the NFL. Currently, Sportsinjurypredictor.com, has Eifert’s chance of injury in 2020 at 68.5% and his durability at a 1 (1-5 scale, 5 being the most durable)
Let me switch gears here for a little and put the salt aside. Even though this guy was riddled with injury and bad luck his whole career, mostly living on an operating table and a inside a rehab room, that still didn’t stop him from being one of the top tight ends in all of football for a year or two.
Aside from a fishing tweet and a congrats tweet to his little brother for committing to Notre Dame, Eifert’s last tweet really got me fired up as a Bengals fan back in February 2020.
To end this peacefully I have a message to Jag’s fans:
“Dear Jag’s fans, if you’re still reading, you guys are getting a dawg. 85 is an absolute unit and a key contributor in the locker room. Take care of him.”
Contract details haven’t been released yet, but I’m sure it will be a deal that will benefit both sides.
Update: Tyler signed two year deal for $15.5M putting him right out side the top 15 tight ends in the NFL in terms of salary.
Goodluck to 85 in Duval. I’ll miss you. #WhoDey