Source: Bengals, TE Smith reach one-year deal

CINCINNATI — The Bengals picked up a key offensive player late Monday night.

Tight end Irv Smith Jr. agreed to terms with the team on a one-year deal, a source confirmed to ESPN. Smith gives the Bengals a potential starting tight end for the upcoming season.

A 2019 second-round draft pick, Smith spent the first four years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. He played in three seasons, missing the entire 2021 season with a torn meniscus.

In 2022, he caught 25 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He appeared in Minnesota’s first eight games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury. He returned for the regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears.

Smith joins an offense looking to replace Hayden Hurst, who signed a multiyear deal with the Carolina Panthers during free agency.

The former Alabama standout joins Devin Asiasi as the primary tight ends on the roster. Drew Sample and Mitchell Wilcox, who were previously with the Bengals, are still free agents.

Cincinnati has been in the mix for a veteran tight end in recent weeks. The Bengals hosted Foster Moreau on a visit and were a finalist to sign him. However, during a medical evaluation by the New Orleans Saints, team physicians discovered Moreau has cancer, prompting him to step away from the sport.

Smith’s agreement with the Bengals was first reported by NFL Network.

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