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Tyler Kroft could be in line for a second contract in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Tight End Tyler Kroft #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a touchdown in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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The tight end of the future in Cincinnati may indeed be named Tyler. But maybe not the Tyler it was supposed to be.

With Tyler Eifert’s short- and long-term health still an unknown, fourth-year tight end Tyler Kroft could be the guy more likely to remain over the long haul. And he’s hoping that’s the case.

“There’s definitely momentum off of [2017],” Kroft told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I think I’ve done a good job learning and understanding the offense as much as I can. Just the confidence level is up there and I think there is confidence between me and Andy [Dalton] and the coaching staff because Bill [Lazor] is still here and he saw it. It’s exciting.”

With Eifert limited to two games in 2017, Kroft caught 42 passes for 404 yards and seven touchdowns. As tight ends go, that should be good enough to give him security. Even if his strategy isn’t to obsess over it.
“It’s in the back of my head but I’m trying not to give it too much thought and try and control what I can control,” Kroft said. “That’s basically how I’ve been trying to think about it. Not get too excited or too down. You could just think of everything and overwhelm yourself pretty quickly. I’ve seen guys get in the tank real quick with just trying to figure it out. I’m trying not to give it too much thought.”

Both Kroft and Eifert are due to be free agents in 2019, with Kroft at $1.87 million this year and Effect operating on a one-year, $5.5 million contract.