TE Irv Smith Jr. chose Bengals over Dolphins in free agency
The Miami Dolphins entered the offseason with the potential for holes at tight end, as Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen, who missed all of 2022, were set to hit free agency.
Then Miami released Cethan Carter and traded Hunter Long to the Los Angeles Rams, leaving just Durham Smythe and Tanner Conner at the position.
General manager Chris Grier did address the position in the first days of free agency, signing former Denver Broncos tight end Eric Saubert, but that’s not all he wanted.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, the Dolphins were in contention for Irv Smith before he chose to sign with Cincinnati.
“I felt like Cincinnati had the best chance to win a Super Bowl. “It’s a great organization. Great coaching staff. (Head 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 spent his collegiate years at Alabama where he played with Tua Tagovailoa, but he ultimately chose to join Cincinnati. While both teams have extremely impressive rosters, the Bengals have accomplished more than the Dolphins have in recent seasons.
Zac Taylor’s team has made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, making it to Super Bowl in 2021 and losing in the AFC Championship in 2022.
With that knowledge, it’s not all that difficult to see why Smith made the decision that he did.
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