Call this a story of personal interest for me; the gatekeeper of trivial ponderance regarding former Bengals players still active in the NFL. Following Tyler Eifert's season-ending injury last year, Cincinnati employed two tight ends on the 53-man roster: veteran Jermaine Gresham and Kevin Brock. Alex Smith, who played two seasons with the Bengals, spent most of the season on Injured Reserve. Ryan Hewitt, generally a tight end, could have been used as a tight end during a pinch.
Since that point, Cincinnati's tight end roster has evolved. Eifert is the only player from last year's squad, while the Bengals revamped the position with four rookies (a fifth if you believe Michael Bennett is a tight end). Here's where former Bengals tight ends from the 2014 squad are today.
Jermaine Gresham: Following a brief honeymoon in Oakland, where Gresham learned that he had a herniated disk in his back, the veteran tight end underwent surgery and eventually signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Gresham, a former Bengals first-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft, spent five seasons in Cincinnati, generating 280 receptions, 2,722 yards receiving and 24 touchdowns. Eventually this relationship soured with coaches, who wanted "nothing to do with Gresham" not long after his temperamental relationship with Cincinnati's media exploded during a live interview with head coach Marvin Lewis.
Despite being activated off the team's Physically Unable to Perform list, Gresham hasn't played a preseason game as Arizona intends to bring him along slowly.
Alex Smith: After spending his first eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns, Smith joined the Bengals for two seasons (‘13 and ‘14), posting three receptions and 12 yards receiving in 18 games played -- he suffered a season-ending bicep injury during Cincinnati's week two win over the Atlanta Falcons last season. New Orleans released him nine days after signing him to a deal on Aug. 7. Smith rejoined New Orleans because Kevin Brock was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve and Orson Charles was facing a one-game suspension at the start of the season. Yes, we're still talking about New Orleans' roster here.
Kevin Brock: Brock signed with the Bengals on Dec. 31, 2013 and was eventually released during the preseason in 2014. Cincinnati re-signed him on Sept. 16, 2014, activating him during the remaining 14 games, where he generated 21 yards receiving on five receptions. Despite being signed to the offseason roster in 2015, Brock was released after the NFL draft. New Orleans signed him on July 27, in a move to build depth after Jack Tabb was lost for the season. Brock himself was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve on Aug. 19, opening the door for former Bengals tight end Alex Smith to rejoin New Orleans.