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Hayden Hurst an early winner at Bengals training camp

The Bengals may just have upgraded at tight end.

Atlanta Falcons v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Bengals fans upset with C.J. Uzomah for criticizing how the front office operates should know better.

First of all, Mike Brown and company only spend when they are absolutely certain it is a good investment. That is quite the contrast from the organization that paid Uzomah, the New York Jets, who were the ones to finally submit to Le’Veon Bell and gave a tight end with zero years over 500 yards receiving a $24 million contract.

Second of all, Uzomah’s defining characteristic is that he is loud. He became a favorite for a fanbase that had lacked confidence on account of projecting it for all to hear. The reality, though, is that Joe Burrow provided the real leadership all along.

The whole “Why not us?” (Uzomah’s phrase) transition to “It is us” (Burrow’s rectification of the phrase) is a perfect microcosm of the difference between Uzomah (who projects confidence) and Burrow (who embodies confidence).

The most recent development in this saga is the noticeable progress of tight end Hayden Hurst, a free agent the team picked up from the Atlanta Falcons for one-third of the base salary of Uzomah.

The guys he’s going up against every day in practice see it as well.

“He can really move for his size,” Mike Hilton told Geoff Hobson of “He gives the quarterback a big frame to go across the middle. I feel like he’ll be a mismatch in our offense.

Hurst, of course, is an exceptional athlete with tremendous receiving skills. He just hasn’t found the right offense fit yet. But it would be no surprise to see Cincinnati’s front office hit yet another home run and discover a player just as he’s about to hit his stride. Hilton, Chidobe Awuzie, Trey Hendrickson, Vonn Bell... the list of amazing free agent additions is honestly too long to remember.

Yes, it’s still the offseason, but remember: Hurst is shining with Brandon Allen at quarterback. Just imagine the kinds of catches he’ll make after the return one of the best QBs in the league in terms of anticipation and ball-placement:

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