PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Reggie Kelly #82 of the Cincinnati Bengals is hit by James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers after catching a pass during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
The Cincinnati Bengals currently have three Tight Ends signed for 2011: Jermaine Gresham, Chase Coffman and Garrett Mills. And the future of the Tight Ends is similar to the future of the wide receivers with a simple question: Do the Bengals want a veteran presence or are they willing to go forward with all youth?
The answer likely depends on the decision of one man.
During his position review on Monday, Joe Reedy writes that he doesn't expect tight end Reggie Kelly to return after completing a one-year deal last season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Kelly graded out with a -3.7 score, with most of his negative scores coming from the passing game during his routes. Kelly also graded as the worst pass blocker amongst tight ends at -1.6. Jermaine Gresham, while he had a good rookie season, didn't grade favorably at all, with run blocking being his biggest detriment at -8.2.
It wasn't that bad for the team's rookie tight end. Actually, he had a really good season all things considered. Gresham (52) broke Tony McGee's 1993 franchise record (44) of most receptions by a rookie tight end. His 52 receptions tied third-most on the team (with follow rookie Jordan Shipley) while his four touchdowns tied for second on the team with Chad Ochocinco.
Chase Coffman, after missing the entire 2009 season as a game-day inactive and later due to an injury, played six games in 2010 after spending the first half of the season on the practice squad. Coffman caught three passes for 30 yards receiving in the regular season finale against the Baltimore Ravens. His first career receptions.
Garrett Mills was claimed off waivers from the Eagles and listed as a game-day inactive in the final two regular season games of the season. He has nine career receptions during a span of five seasons playing with the Patriots, Vikings and Eagles.