Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
The Bengals found a veteran wide receiver that brings return ability in free agency. It just so happens that that player was the one they had filling the same role the past two seasons.
It appears that the Bengals now have all of the major members of their special teams unit intact for 2013. After agreeing to deals with Clark Harris, Kevin Huber, Mike Nugent, Adam Jones and Cedric Peerman, the team has reportedly signed wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Tate to a one-year deal, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Tate has been the object of much scorn for Bengals fans in his Cincinnati tenure. He has had minor fumbling issues, but has also provided some excitement in both the punt and kickoff return jobs. He has one punt return for a touchdown in his Bengals career and that was against the Seahawks in 2011.
The fifth-year man also provided some production in the receiving game last season with 13 receptions for 211 yards and a touchdown. He was part of a revolving door of wide receivers opposite A.J. Green that the team tried to find another threat. With a lot of late-season playing time given to Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, coupled with the sentiment that the team could look at a wide receiver relatively high again this year, it's hard to believe that Tate will have much more impact as a receiver in 2013.
It's likely that the Bengals warmed back up to Tate once they found out that their primary interest, Ted Ginn, Jr., was going to sign with the Carolina Panthers. With Tate apparently back in the fold, it is another step towards completing the goal of retaining their own free agents.