For the second year in a row, the New York Jets have signed a fan favorite player from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets have signed tight end C.J. Uzomah to a three-year deal worth $24 million.
Former Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah intends to sign a three-year, $24 million deal with the New York Jets, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2022
This is a shocker for Bengals fans. Uzomah, an eighth-year player, quickly ascended as one of the most popular and charismatic players during the team’s run to Super Bowl 56. He started the Why Not Us? movement back in the preseason and shined as the central leaders in the locker room.
In the AFC Championship game, Uzomah appeared to injury his knee very badly. A week later, he threw his knee brace into the air during the team’s Super Bowl pep rally and indicated he would indeed suit up. Sure enough, Uzomah played 49 snaps in the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
The further the Bengals got in the playoffs, the more the world learned about Uzomah. He flourished on Good Morning Football and earned the team’s Media Cooperation Award. That he’s going to a considerably bigger market in New York is great for his personality.
For the Bengals, it’s definitely disappointing. The team had hoped to retain Uzomah, and they were either out-bid for his services in a crazy tight end market, or he bought in to what the Jets were selling him.
In his seven years with the Bengals, Uzomah produced 1,591 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on 163 receptions. He achieved career highs in all three categories this past season as he finished with 493 yards, five touchdowns, and 49 receptions.
Tight end is a big position of need now for the Bengals as Drew Sample is the only player left with significant playing experience, and he has but one year left on his rookie contract. It’s entirely possible that the team looks for an immediate replacement in free agency as well as investing a mid-round pick in the draft to rebuild the position group.
Uzomah was instrumental as a catalyst for Cincinnati’s deepest postseason run in a generation. He’ll now look to revitalize another last-place team like he did this past year.