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Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals strike rookie contract

The Cincinnati Bengals signed No. 21 overall draft pick Tyler Eifert, the team announced Monday.

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The consensus top tight end in the 2013 NFL Draft, Eifert was "as advertised" in offseason practices, coach Marvin Lewis said.

The Bengals now have a pair of first-round players at tight end on the roster. Judging by reports out of Cincinnati, Eifert will be used to create mismatches as a "joker" tight end in the passing game while Jermaine Gresham's role will be de-emphasized.

With second-round draft pick Giovani Bernard also expected to play a major role, the Bengals offense will be heavily reliant on rookies this season. The shift came after the team desperately was in need of playmakers last year as defenses concentrated on taking A.J. Green away down the stretch.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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