Have the Bengals offered Ezekiel Elliott a contract?

Thursday, word broke that the Cincinnati Bengals were one of the teams free agent running back Ezekiel Elliott had as “finalists” for his services.

But it was a carefully-worded report that didn’t actually say the three mentioned teams had actually been in contact with Elliott or his reps.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio followed up on this that same evening:

“Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, Elliott isn’t currently weighing contract offers from the Jets, Bengals, and Eagles. In fact, he may have offers at this point from none of them. And he may never get an offer from any of them.”

Even so, the Bengals being one of those teams makes plenty of sense. It would be a popular homecoming for all involved parties given Elliott’s history at Ohio State, nevermind previously playing with Joe Burrow and Sam Hubbard there. He’d be a fit as a Samaje Perine replacement due to his pass-blocking, too. As he nears the age of 30, it would make sense to join an annual contender.

Whether this is a smooth ploy by Elliott’s reps is impossible to say, just as it is hard to say whether the Bengals have been in touch.

But should they? That’s something we confirmed right after the Cowboys let Elliott walk. A homecoming for Zeke could work for all parties, at the right price and role.

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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire