Jaguars, oft-injured TE Tyler Eifert agree to 2-year deal

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Oft-injured tight end Tyler Eifert and the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to a two-year contract in free agency Tuesday night.

Eifert played in 16 games last year for the first time in his seven NFL seasons, all with Cincinnati. He caught 43 passes for 436 yards and three touchdowns.

He has 185 receptions for 2,152 yards and 24 touchdowns. His best year came in 2015, when he had 52 catches for 615 yards and 13 scores. But he’s missed more games (34) than he’s played (30) since.

He’s one of the NFL’s elite tight ends when healthy. Before 2019, though, he was limited to 28 games over five seasons. He missed time with a stinger, a dislocated elbow, ankle injuries and twice needed back surgery. He also had a cyst removed him a knee.

Nonetheless, he could provide a big upgrade for Jacksonville. The Jaguars have tight ends James O’Shaughnessy, Josh Oliver and Charles Jones on the roster. O’Shaughnessy is coming off reconstructive knee surgery and Oliver, a third-round draft pick in 2019, played just three games as a rookie because of hamstring and back injuries.

Jacksonville signed Geoff Swaim in free agency a year ago and drafted Oliver a month later in hopes of revamping a position at which the Jaguars previously whiffed on Julius Thomas (2015-16) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (2018).

Eifert will be reunited with former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who was hired to the same job in Jacksonville after six seasons as Washington’s head coach. Eifert caught 39 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns in Gruden’s last season in Cincinnati, 2013.