Hayden Hurst Throws Jab at Falcons After Signing With Bengals

Hayden Hurst

Getty Hayden Hurst #81 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons have lost another player to free agency in tight end, Hayden Hurst.

According to Hursts’ agency, Enter Sports Management, he has signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

And from what it sounds like, he is about to get treated better than he did in Atlanta.

Hurst addressed Cincy’s local media where he said “he’s happy to be with a franchise that values him. Said joining QB Joe Burrow was a no-brainer,” via ESPN’s Ben Baby.

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Hurst added, “The Atlanta thing didn’t really work out like I was told it was going to.”

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Atlanta Replaced Hurst With Kyle Pitts

After Atlanta’s starting tight end Austin Hooper left for Cleveland in 2020, the Falcons fully invested in the former Ravens’ tight end and sent a second-round and a fifth-round pick to Baltimore in exchange for Hurst and a fourth-round selection.

Hurst was the Falcons’ No. 1 option at tight end until he was replaced by rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, whom Atlanta drafted at No. 4 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Hurst will enter his fifth NFL season with the almost-Super Bowl LIV champions after spending the last two years in Atlanta. He joins the Bengals who are in need of a new starting tight end after losing veteran C.J. Uzomah to the New York Jets.

Hurst finished the 2021 season catching 26 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns. And before losing his place to Pitts, Hurst recorded 571 yards and six touchdowns on 56 receptions.

Over a total of 57 career games, Hurst has caught 125 career passes on 181 targets for 1,304 yards (10.4 avg) and 12 scores.

Falcons Lose Two More Key Assets to Free Agency

Falcons’ top linebacker, Foye Oluokon, agreed to a three-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, March 14.

Rapoport detailed that the deal is worth up to $46.5 million with $28 million guaranteed and added that the Falcons “worked hard” to retain the league’s 2022 leading tackler.

Atlanta drafted Oluokon in the sixth-round out of Yale in 2018. He finished last season with a career-high 192 tackles, six passes defensed, two sacks, a forced fumble and three interceptions.

Wide receiver Russell Gage was the other Falcons player who found a new home this week in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady and the Buccaneersper Rapoport again.

Gage became the Falcons’ leading receiver in 2021 after having to step up for the absence of Calvin Ridley. He joins the Bucs fresh off of his two best seasons after catching 72 passes for 786 yards and four touchdowns with Atlanta in 2020, and 66 passes for 770 yards and four touchdowns just his past season.

Atlanta has many roster holes to fill this offseason but the receiving room is the most concerning as they currently have just Frank Darby, Chad Hansen and Austin Trammell under contract for the 2022 season.

The team also tendered wide receiver Olamide Zacchaeus at the right-of-first-refusal number of $2.433 million, via  ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This means that the Falcons can match any Zacchaeus gets from another team in order to keep in Atlanta, but expect the Falcons to sign some wideouts in free agency and in the upcoming draft.


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