JACKSONVILLE – The focus moved to the offense late Tuesday.
After spending the early days of the 2020 NFL League Year focused on defense, the Jaguars on Wednesday acquired a player to address a major offensive need.
Tyler Eifert, a seven-year veteran and a former Pro Bowl tight end with the Cincinnati Bengals, has agreed to terms to sign with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent. The Jaguars announced the move in accordance with NFL rules on Wednesday morning.
"Tyler is a proven contributor in this league, and we're excited to add him to our team," Head Coach Doug Marrone said in a statement. "He has shown the ability to be a playmaker in the passing game, especially in the red zone, while also adding immense value as a blocker in the run game.
"I expect him to make us more efficient and productive on the offensive side of the ball, and after speaking with Tyler, I know he's eager for this opportunity."
Eifert, a first-round selection by the Bengals from Notre Dame in the 2013 NFL Draft, spent his first six NFL seasons with Cincinnati. He has 185 career receptions for 2,152 yards and 24 touchdowns.
He had his career-best season in 2015, catching 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns – all career highs – and being named to the Pro Bowl.
Eifert has dealt with extensive injuries in his career, missing eight or more games in four of seven seasons. He missed 12 games with an ankle injury in 2018, 14 games with a back issue in 2017 and 15 games with an elbow injury in 2014. He played in all 16 games in 2019 for the first time in his career, starting four and catching 43 passes for 436 yards and three touchdowns.
Eifert's signing gives the Jaguars five tight ends on the roster: Eifert, second-year veteran Josh Oliver, sixth-year veteran James O'Shaughnessy, first-year veteran Charles Jones and first-year veteran Matt Sokol. Jaguars tight ends as a group in 2019 caught 53 passes for 459 yards and three touchdowns.
Oliver, a third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, played in four games in an injury-shorted season and caught three passes for 15 yards. O'Shaughnessy caught 14 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the first five games of the season before a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in a Week 5 loss at Carolina.
The Jaguars since last Wednesday's start of the 2020 League Year previously agreed to terms with five defensive players: former Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert, former Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Rodney Gunter, former Seattle Seahawks edge defender/linebacker Cassius Marsh, former Cardinals defensive tackle Al Woods and former Detroit Lions cornerback Rashaan Melvin.