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Irv Smith on joining Bengals: I feel like I’m almost the missing piece to get us that Super Bowl

Mike Florio and Peter King examine whether Orlando Brown is worth more than $16 million annually and if this number will give the OT reason to seek out a new team next year.

The Bengals signed Irv Smith Jr. this week, filling a need at tight end after Hayden Hurst departed the organization in free agency.

In speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Smith outlined one particular reason why he wanted to join Cincinnati.

“I felt like Cincinnati had the best chance to win a Super Bowl,” Smith said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. “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.”

A second-round pick in the 2019 draft, Smith has been dealing with injuries for the past couple of seasons. He missed all of 2021 with a torn meniscus. An ankle injury landed Smith on injured reserve last season, limiting him to eight games. He caught 25 passes for 182 yards with two touchdowns in 2022.

overall, smith has 91 receptions for 858 yards with nine TDs in 37 games with 15 starts.