The Cincinnati Bengals may have the best wide receiver trio in the NFL but still have room to add more around Joe Burrow. As they look to get back into the Super Bowl, their latest signing gives him another pass-catching threat in the form of tight end Irv Smith Jr.
Smith and the Bengals have agreed to a one-year deal, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports. The move was later confirmed by Ben Baby of ESPN.
Given that the Bengals lost Hayden Hurst in free agency to the Carolina Panthers, the addition of Smith is a solid one. Last season in eight games with the Minnesota Vikings, the 24-year-old posted 182 receiving yards, 25 catches and two touchdowns. His numbers from the previous two seasons were close to those of Hurst in 2022.
The Bengals' passing game relies on downfield attacks to Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins but still needs a safety valve, which Smith can provide. Chase, Higgins and Tyler Boyd will still take up the majority of the targets, having another solid option (especially one that is young enough to continue developing) always helps.
This offseason has seen the Bengals make a few additions to their offense while losing some key pieces in free agency. Orlando Brown Jr. bolsters the offensive line but Cincinnati will still seemingly be trading Jonah Williams soon. Losing Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates hurts but Cincinnati still has a lot of talent and the time to make the right tweaks to keep their defense good.