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NFL notebook: TE Eifert returns to Bengals


Reuters
Updated: 17-03-2019 07:36 IST
NFL notebook: TE Eifert returns to Bengals

Injury-plagued tight end Tyler Eifert is re-signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, he announced on Twitter on Saturday. Eifert is signing a one-year contract, according to multiple reports. Eifert, a product of Notre Dame, was the No. 21 overall selection by the Bengals in 2013 and played 15 games that season. Since then, he has only reached double-digit games in a season once.

That was 2015, when he scored 13 touchdowns in 13 games. He made the Pro Bowl that year, but an ankle injury in that game limited his action the following season. Eifert, 28, has had season-ending surgery each of the past three seasons. In 2018, it was a broken ankle suffered in Week 4 that sent him to injured reserve.

--The Oakland Raiders released veteran left tackle Donald Penn in what was called a mutual decision. Penn, who turns 36 next month, indicated that he wants to return for a 13th NFL season elsewhere in 2019.

Penn missed 12 games with a groin injury in 2018 and was slated to count $7.2 million against Oakland's salary cap this season. --New Orleans Saints center Max Unger retired in a surprising development, multiple outlets reported.

Unger, who turns 33 next month, completed his 10th NFL season and earned his third Pro Bowl selection in 2018. He had one year left on a three-year, $22 million contract and was set to earn $5.1 million in base salary in 2019. Unger started 130 regular-season and 12 postseason games with the Seattle Seahawks (2009-14) and Saints (2015-18).

--When suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving shared a post -- in which he appeared to be smoking marijuana -- on Instagram and announced his retirement last week, it was with coach Jason Garrett's encouragement, he said. "He told me I should just quit, smoke all the weed I want, the team didn't need me," Irving told USA Today in an interview. "I'm a distraction to the team."

Irving said he suffers from mental illnesses that he attributes to football and that players should have the option to treat their ailments with cannabis. "People need to understand I'm not doing this -- I didn't quit football to smoke weed," Irving said. "That would be idiotic. I understand that. ... It's about wellness, about rights. People need to understand that."

--The Jacksonville Jaguars stayed busy in free agency, announcing the signings of wide receiver Chris Conley and offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi. NFL Media also reported they were signing former Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan, 27, who missed last season with a torn ACL. Conley, 26, played for the Kansas City Chiefs over his first four seasons, making 104 catches for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns. He emerged as a scoring target for Patrick Mahomes last season, catching 32 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns.

Ogbuehi, 26, started 25 of 35 games over his first four seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, but appeared in just two games last season. --New head coach Bruce Arians is bringing a familiar face to Tampa Bay, with the Buccaneers signing offensive lineman Earl Watford to a one-year deal.

Watford, who spent last season with the Cleveland Browns, was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and spent his first five seasons playing for Arians. Watford, 28, has played both guard spots and right tackle over his NFL career, which spans 55 games and 22 starts. Financial terms of his deal were not disclosed.

--Field Level Media


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