Falcons Sign Former Bengals WR

Auden Tate Falcons

Getty Former Cincinnati Bengals WR Auden Tate.

The Atlanta Falcons continue to make some moves and have signed another free-agent wide receiver in former Cincinnati Bengals’ wideout Auden Tate to a one-year deal.

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Tate Was a Seventh-Round Draft Pick

Tate, 25, was originally a seventh-round selection (253rd overall) by the Bengals in the 2018 NFL Draft. His NFL career kicked off slowly as he totaled just four receptions for 35 yards as a rookie.

During A.J. Green’s absence in 2019, his production increased and remains his best season yet where he finished the year as Cincy’s second-leading receiver with 40 catches for 575 yards and a score. Unfortunately for Tate, he didn’t play much of a part in the Bengals’ Super Bowl appearance this past year as he was sidelined with a calf injury for most of the season. In fact, he has spent back-to-back seasons on the injured reserve list since 2019.

Through four NFL seasons thus far, Tate has totaled 799 receiving yards on 61 receptions, averaging 13.1 yards a catch and two touchdowns.

The upside is that with the Falcons’ current receiving depth chart nearly down to bones, Tate has a chance to have a bounceback season in 2022 as long as he can stay healthy.

Falcons’ Current Wide Receiver Room Outlook

Tate joins a wide receiver room that currently consists of Frank Darby and Olamide Zaccheaus and newly signed KhaDarel Hodge as their top targets.

Hodge, 27, originally signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Since then, he’s bounced around the league with stops at the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions. In fours seasons thus far, he has 30 receptions for 430 yards. He’s coming off a 2021 season that saw a career-high of 13 catches on 27 targets for 157 yards in Detroit.

Darby, 24, was snagged by Atlanta in the sixth round of 2021’s draft. He saw action in 10 games (0 starts) last season but recorded just one reception for 14 yards. You would have thought that with Calvin Ridley’s absence that the rookie would have seen the field more but instead, he saw more reps in practice instead of real-time but it was all a part of the Falcons’ plan to prep him behind the scenes.

Zacchaeus, 24, was tendered by the Falcons earlier this month at the right-of-first-refusal number of $2.433 million. He joined the Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2019. He finished his rookie year with three receptions for 115 yards and a score. He also added two tackles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown on special teams. With the absence of Julio Jones, Zaccheaus saw his production increase in 2020 when he recorded had his first 100-yard game. Playing in a total of 11 games that year, he had 20 receptions for 274 yards and one touchdown. 2021 has been Zaccheaus’ best season yet as he logged career-highs of 31 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns.

Zaccheaus is currently viewed as Atlanta’s No. 1 option heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. With many needs to fill, it will be interesting to see if the Falcons add another weapon for their quarterback in the draft or sign another in free agency.


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