Thearon W. Henderson
The Cincinnati Bengals need a return specialist and after hosting Ted Ginn Jr. last week, the former Buckeye receiver signed a one-year deal in Carolina.
The Cincinnati Bengals hosted former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and return specialist last week. Though he was offered a contract, Ginn kept his options open and checked with other teams, which included the Carolina Panthers.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Ginn has chosen the Panthers.
Former 49ers WR Ted Ginn is signing a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2013
This leaves Cincinnati without a return specialist, save for Adam Jones who returned over half of the team's 47 total punt returns in 2012. However it's unlikely that Cincinnati wants to have Jones in as a full-time returner, avoiding wearing him down with a significant defensive responsibility. The Bengals will want to have someone pick up half of those returns, as well as returns on kickoffs; which was roughly Brandon Tate's role last year and the one hoped to give Ginn this year.
Unfortunately Cincinnati couldn't offer Ginn a spot on offense whereas Carolina was.
In other related news, the Cincinnati Bengals reportedly have Tate back on their radar and we expect the team to make a move one way or the other, sooner rather than later.