The Cincinnati Bengals are looking to prove their run to the Super Bowl last season was no fluke. Surrounding Joe Burrow with as much talent as possible will help them achieve that goal. As NFL teams commence roster cuts to land on a 53-man roster, the Bengals are making a move for one of the high-profile names on the open market.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Bengals are bringing in tight end OJ Howard for a visit. The 27-year-old is expected to sign with the reigning AFC champions after being cut by the Buffalo Bills despite the team already having to pay a large portion of his salary.
That was fast: The #Bengals are hosting FA TE OJ Howard on a visit today and assuming all goes well with the physical, he’s expected to sign, source said. The former first-rounder was a surprising cut yesterday and this should come together today.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2022
After replacing C.J. Uzomah with Hayden Hurst this offseason, the Bengals are adding more depth at the tight end spot. The front office was high on Howard at the time of the 2017 NFL Draft and he will now battle for snaps behind Hurst with Drew Sample and Mitchell Wilcox.
Howard recorded just 135 yards on 14 catches on a loaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad last season. The former first-round pick was never able to establish himself as a key player on the Bucs, especially after Rob Gronkowski joined the squad with Tom Brady. His role on the Bengals will similarly be just a reserve one. He will be looking to climb on the depth chart and prove his first-round pedigree, though Cincinnati already has plenty of wide receivers for Burrow.
Although Cincinnati’s headline moves of the offseason are already done, the Howard move could be useful as they look to reclaim the AFC North title.