The Jaguars have agreed to sign tight end Tyler Eifert to a two-year contract, per Tom Pelissero.
Eifert, who had spent his entire seven-year career with the Bengals, will join the Jaguars’ tight end room. The ultra-talented tight end has suffered a litany of injuries that have slowed his production throughout the years. He peaked in 2015, when he started 12 games for Cincy, catching 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns. In the following three seasons, Eifert failed to stay healthy for more than eight games in a single year, but he continued to play at a high level when on the field. Last season, however, Eifert stayed healthy for a full 16 games and contributed 43 catches for 436 yards and three scores. He wasn’t a full-time starter, but Eifert once again showed that when healthy, he can be a factor.
At 29 years old, Eifert may be the most talented tight end the Jaguars have at this point. He’s also the most veteran player in the room. In 2014, Eifert played under the guidance of Jay Gruden. The former Bengals' play caller and Redskins' head coach, is now the Jaguars' offensive coordinator. While Eifert brings skill, experience, and familiarity, his most significant question mark is one that persists throughout the Jaguars’ tight end room: health. Eifert has missed nearly half of his career games because of various injuries. James O’Shaughnessy has also missed his fair share of contests due to injury, missing 32 of a possible 80 games in his career. And Josh Oliver, a talented 2019 third-round pick, played in just four games as a rookie due to — you guessed it — injuries. The Jaguars also have Charles Jones and Matt Sokol currently on the roster at tight end, but neither should see much playing time, that is, if the big three ahead of them stay healthy.
The Jaguars’ tight end group has plenty of talent, but keeping that talent on the field will be the trick to unlocking this group’s potential. Three of the Jags’ tight ends have plenty of promise, but can one or two of them stay healthy most of the year? If they can, they’ll likely be a major boon to Gardner Minshew’s development. If not, the Jaguars will be scouring the waiver wire for tight end help yet again in 2020.
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