It’s a very similar deal to what the Bengals are giving C.J. Uzomah. Both tight ends were part of the Bengals’ 2015 NFL Draft class, which winds up producing two players who just signed three-year deals worth a combined $36+ million.
Kroft will mainly be remembered for his seven-score season in 2017 as Cincinnati’s primary tight end. He also hauled in 42 passes for 404 yards.
Still, coming into this offseason, there wasn’t any doubt that the Bengals preferred re-signing Uzomah over Kroft, but not many thought they’d get similar deals, especially since Kroft played in just five games last season and caught four passes.
Uzomah, on the other hand, caught 43 balls for 439 yards and three scores. He also developed into a solid blocking tight end, an area where Kroft struggled at his entire stint in Cincinnati.
Lest we forget Uzomah was also a blocking wide receiver in college that has been developing into a real tight end during his four years in Cincinnati, so there’s reason to think he’ll continue to improve, whereas Kroft is closer to being capped out.
So yeah, I’d say the Bengals got the better end of these tight end deals, but it is good to see them both get nice paydays. Hopefully, Kroft finds a good role in Buffalo and has more years like we saw from him in 2017.