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TE Irv Smith Jr. signs 1-year contract with Bengals

The Bengals land TE in free agency.

Irv Smith Jr. #84 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are adding tight end Irv Smith Jr. on a one-year contract. It is a prove-it deal for the talented, but oft-injured tight end. And with Joe Burrow and the Bengals, he should have a good shot at proving he’s a worthy starter if he can stay healthy.

2022 performance

Smith caught 25 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns in eight games and caught another touchdown in the Vikings wildcard loss to the Giants. Smith was placed on injured reserve after suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 8. In his three season career, he has 10 touchdowns on 131 targets.

Fantasy implications for Minnesota Vikings

Smith’s injury last season pushed the playoff-bound Vikings to find help elsewhere and they did just that by trading for T.J. Hockenson from the Lions. Hockenson will remain the No. 1 tight end in Minnesota and with Adam Thielen gone, he should see plenty of fantasy opportunity this season.

Fantasy implications for Bengals

Joe Burrow and the Bengals do throw the ball to the tight end, but they also have plenty of outlets in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. We can’t expect huge volume, but we can expect efficiency from one of the best quarterbacks in the game and that should keep Smith Jr. as a fantasy asset at a weak overall position.