The Cincinnati Bengals added much-needed tight end depth through the waiver wire following the final cycle of training camp cuts with the addition of former New England Patriots draft pick Devin Asiasi.
The team attempted to sign former Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round pick OJ Howard after the Buffalo Bills released him, but Howard wound up heading to the Houston Texans after the Bengals landed Asiasi off waivers.
Asiasi was New England’s third-round pick out of UCLA in 2020 but did not provide much production for the Patriots. He played in nine games during his rookie season of 2020 and spent time on injured reserve. Asiasi returned for the season finale of the 2020 season and made his first two career catches which went for 39 yards and a score against the New York Jets.
Last season, he played just one game.
After an injury-riddled training camp, Asiasi was waived by the Patriots and claimed by the Bengals who are excited to develop the 25-year-old.
“He’s a young player who’s got ability and talent. Still a little bit inexperienced, but watching him on film, he can block the tight end,” Bengals tight ends coach James Casey told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “It’s not like (C.J.) Uzomah is a super flashy guy, but he’s making eight million because he’s smart and can block … The guys you can trust to block are really valuable and you look at it, there’s something like 15 tight ends drafted, there’s not a lot of guys out there.”
Asiasi will fill in behind Hayden Hurst and banged up reserves Drew Sample and Mitch Wilcox on the Bengals roster.