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90-in-90 Bengals Roster Breakdown: 3 reasons Brandon Tate will remain on Cincinnati's roster

It seems the exceedingly mediocre Bengals return man just won't go away. Could this be the year the Bengals finally find a more dynamic replacement?

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Poor Brandon Tate. He's actually not that bad. His 22.9 average on kick returns in 2015 was respectable. Plus, the man has always been modest in his demands, accepting multiple one-year minimum deals to remain on Marvin Lewis' Bengals squad. And have you ever seen him mentioned in the context of an off-the-field incident? So it's not really fair to paint him as some sort of villain.

Having said all that, Bengals fans are starving for serious contributions in the special teams department. On punt returns, Adam Jones (11.2 yards per punt return) is clearly superior to Tate (6.3 yards per punt return). But his 23.5 yards per kick return were only .6 yards better than Tate's average. And Jones' age and value on defense mean he can only be a part time contributor on special teams. The only real option would be for one of the younger players (Mario Alford and Tyler Boyd are potential candidates) to step up.

To see what makes Tate ineffective and why he might still make the team despite his limitations, watch the following video:

Player Information

Age: 28
Experience: Year 8
Position: WR
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195
College: North Carolina

Contract Status

2016 Stock

The departures of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu in free agency mean that Tate could see his most targets since his rookie year of 2010, when he caught 24 passes from Tom Brady for 432 yards and 3 touchdowns. And he has shown he is still capable of making plays in the passing game (this catch against the Kansas City Chiefs last year was a good reminder.) Thus, he's actually a little more valuable this year due to the fact that he now becomes the team's third most experienced receiver.

Odds of making the roster

We give Tate a 75 percent chance of making the team. It's pretty simple: Marvin Lewis is comfortable with him as the return man, and Tate is competent enough that he doesn't make the team look bad; he rarely loses a fumble and is kick return average isn't particularly bad. So, due to 1. his capabilities as a receiver; 2. his cheap contract; and 3. the lack of a clear upgrade, Tate is sitting pretty.