C.J. Uzomah is a tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals and has been quite successful as he was selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl, 2017 AFC Championship Game, and 2018 Super Bowl 53. What are C.J.’s three favorite destinations?
The “bengals logo” is a team that has been around for over 100 years. The Bengals have won more than a few championships and are one of the most successful franchises in football history. Cincinnati is also known for its baseball team, which has made it to the World Series twice since 2000. Cincinnati also houses a number of museums and other attractions that make it an attractive destination year-round.
The Cincinnati Bengals, led by tight end C.J. Uzomah, stunned the world in 2021 by reaching the Super Bowl in quarterback Joe Burrow’s second season. As difficult as that was, the franchise now has the far more difficult challenge of returning to the Big Game.
The Bengals must make keeping crucial guys like Uzomah a primary priority this summer. However, if the 2015 fifth-round draft selection from Auburn decides to go, there are a slew of clubs eager to sign the pass-catcher.
Here are the top three options for Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah.
C.J. Uzomah is eligible to return to the Bengals.
C.J. Uzomah | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/C.J. Uzomah
The good news for Bengals fans who have also become C.J. Uzomah fans in the previous five years is that there’s still a possibility the TE may return to Cincinnati next season. In his first full season under Joe Burrow, Uzomah enjoyed his greatest year. His career highs were 49 receptions, 493 yards, and five touchdowns.
Cincinnati is also in a strong position heading into the 2022 offseason. The club has $48 million in cap space, which is the fourth highest in the league. This offers Mike Brown, the team’s owner, a lot of leeway moving into next season.
However, any party might make the option to go on. Brown is known for being conservative, and with young tight ends Drew Sample and Thaddeus Moss on the roster, he may not want to give Uzomah market value. In contrast, the Bengals, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, may be able to lure a more dynamic player to come to Ohio.
On the field, Uzomah had a fantastic year, but with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon remaining on the roster, there won’t be much room for Uzomah’s position to expand. If he really wants the ball, he’ll have to leave Cincinnati.
Here are the three best landing locations if that occurs.
Buccaneers of Tampa Bay, No. 3
“I’m giving Rob the respect to give him some time,” Licht says of Rob Gronkowski, implying that he won’t retire (again) simply because Brady is. He doesn’t believe his choice is entirely reliant on Brady’s. “We would warmly welcome Rob’s return.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 1, 2022
Tom Brady is no longer with us, which means Rob Gronkowski, one of his closest friends, is also no longer with us. The club will need to replace 55 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns, whatever the new quarterback is. With Antonio Brown out and Chris Godwin recuperating from a knee injury, C.J. Uzomah would be a top target for the Buccaneers if he signed with them early in the season.
While Brady is away, head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich seem to be returning. This is excellent news for the offensive. It may be really beneficial if the club signs a good free agency quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater or Jameis Winston. It might be fantastic if the franchise goes all-in on a deal for a signal-caller like Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers (and something Uzomah might want to be a part of).
Indianapolis Colts, No. 2
The Indianapolis Colts ($37 million in salary space) are another club in need of a tight end this summer. With Mo-Alie Cox, a free agent, and Jack Doyle considering retirement, the club may lose both TEs from this season’s roster.
For the Colts, Uzomah would be a good fit as a dynamic tight end who could build a pass-catching relationship with Carson Wentz and provide decent blocking for Jonathan Taylor. In addition to the skill on the field, Uzomah could be interested in playing under head coach Frank Reich. When the coach was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, he helped convert tight end Zach Ertz into a star.
1. Jets of New York
C.J. Uzomah got to the Super Bowl by acting as a safety net for a second-year quarterback. He could hook up with Zach Wilson and the New York Jets if he wants to do it again (and receive the bag from a club with $44 million in salary space).
Wide receivers Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder, and Braxton Barrios, as well as tight ends Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffin, all had solid seasons in 2018, but none of them emerged as Wilson’s go-to player in 2021. In 2022, the Jets have enough of targets (and money) to go around, so Uzomah might become that. Wilson’s head coach, Robert Salah, has voiced his desire for more “boring” completions, which Uzomah would be ideal for.
Uzomah wanting to construct the Bengals 2.0 in New York would make a lot of sense, whether it’s his choice or his current team’s.
Pro Football Reference provided all numbers, while Spotrac provided contract statistics.
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