The Bengals may have veterans Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah, but it’s Drew Sample who figures to be the future at tight end for this franchise.
With the 52nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Cincinnati selected the Washington Huskies tight end. This pick came after the Bengals traded down from the 42nd pick in a deal with the Broncos.
Tight end wasn’t a big need heading into the draft, but it was a position the Bengals could look to add more depth behind Uzomah and Eifert, especially with the latter playing under just a one-year contract.
As it turns out, the team saw something special in Sample, who could become the team’s tight end of the future and has already impressed in offseason workouts.
Because Sample was a second-round pick, he figures to have his roster spot locked up for at least two years and more than likely will finish his rookie contract if he doesn’t get an extension beforehand.
If Sample were to be cut in 2019, the Bengals are on the hook for $2.8 million in dead cap space. That drops to $2.3 million in 2020 and $1 million in 2021. If Sample underperforms and is on the roster bubble in 2022, the Bengals would only be the hook for $506K if he were cut then.
Here is a look at Sample’s contract via Over The Cap:
Unless Sample really lights it up in training camp and the preseason, it will be hard for him to have a big role as a pass-catcher as long as Eifert is healthy. However, Sample is regarded as a strong blocking tight end who could prove to be very valuable for an offensive line that’s still in major flux.
We could see Sample living on the right side to help Bobby Hart not get beaten like a drum for an entire season, again.