Durham Smythe and Tanner Connor were the only two tight ends on Miami’s roster at the start of free agency. The Dolphins signed Eric Saubert, but general manager Chris Grier had another tight end on his radar.
Geoff Hobson, a senior writer for Bengals.com, spoke with tight end Irv Smith Jr., who said his free agency decision was between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals.
“I felt like Cincinnati had the best chance to win a Super Bowl,” Smith said Tuesday. “It’s a great organization. Great coaching staff. [Coach] Zac Taylor was very adamant about me coming to the team knowing what I can do to help the offense. And the proof is in the pudding at the tight end position. Having a relationship with Ja’Marr (Chase), getting to play with Joe Burrow and those guys speaks for itself. I’ve watched a lot of Bengals games over the years. I wanted to be a part of this opportunity to chase a ring and be a part of something special … I feel like I’m almost the missing piece to get us that Super Bowl.”
Smith, 25, was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and spent four seasons with the franchise before joining the Bengals on a one-year deal.
The Bengals had $17 million in cap space before signing Smith, according to Over The Cap. The Dolphins have just $1.9 million in cap space until the contract of Byron Jones is taken off the books on June 1. Looking at each team’s available cap space, it’s hard to imagine Miami winning a bidding war in this situation.
The Dolphins will have to fill out the tight end room through the draft or wait until June and hope to strike gold late in free agency.