Reports surfaced over the weekend that the Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with fan favorite return specialist Brandon Tate. Cincinnati announced the signing on Monday, making it official.
We officially announce the re-signing of WR Brandon Tate. #Bengals— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) March 25, 2013
“Brandon has excellent tools, especially great speed, and he can continue to help is both on offense and special teams,” said Darrin Simmons, Bengals special teams coordinator. “He’s a hard worker and a good team player. We’re glad to have him back.”
After Ted Ginn Jr. signed with the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati immediately began discussions with Tate, who averaged 24.8 yards/return on kickoffs last season -- fifth highest in franchise history for a single season. Tate is currently the "franchise's career leader in punt return average (10.1 yards) and had at least three returns last year that shifted field position that led to touchdowns", writes Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer.
However the frustration with Tate is overpowering. Indecision has led to minimal gains, as has questionable decisions to return punts from inside the five or return kickoffs deep in the endzone. Either way figure that Tate will take the bulk of kickoff returns this year and partner with Adam Jones on punt returns.
Tate is the tenth unrestricted free agent that the Bengals re-signed this year.