The Bengals today re-signed WR Brandon Tate. His contract had been set to expire, and without a new deal he would have become an unrestricted free agent as of 4 p.m. today.
Tate (6-1, 195; North Carolina) is in his sixth NFL season and his fourth with the Bengals in 2014. He has made his mark with the Bengals mostly as a kick returner. His 24.8-yard average on kickoff returns (over 2011-13) is the franchise’s career record, and his 9.9 norm on punt returns is second in team annals. He is within range for 2014 of taking over the all-time team leads in total punt return and kickoff return yards. He already holds team records for most combined punt and kickoff returns (93) in a season and total punt return yards (543) in a season.
“We’re glad to get back one of our core special teams players,” said Darrin Simmons, Bengals special teams coordinator. “Brandon’s numbers speak for themselves, and I’ve got a lot of confidence in him. I think this could be a real breakout year for him.”
Tate, who began his career as a third-round draft pick of New England, has 66 NFL games played with 14 starts. He has played in every regular season and postseason game since joining the Bengals. His full-career numbers include 38 receptions for 649 yards and four TDs, a 25.1-yard kickoff return average with two TDs, and a 9.8-yard punt return average with one TD.