C.J. Uzomah Immediately Becomes Top Tight End in Jets Offense


All gas, no brakes. The Jets are going full-blast into 2022 and made a key addition on the offensive side of the ball Monday, signing TE C.J. Uzomah to a three-year, $24 million deal. While not quite the money we saw Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith fetch in free agency last year, this contract positions Uzomah within the 15 highest-paid tight ends on an annual basis.

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That contract is certainly eye-opening for a player who has largely had an inconspicuous existence through much of his seven-year NFL career. To be fair, Uzomah is coming off a career year, but his 49 catches for 493 yards and five scores weren’t exactly earth-shattering. Still, he did flash major upside with two-score against the Jags in Week 4 and then again in Week 7 versus the Ravens. Uzomah also showed up big against in the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs with 13 catches for 135 yards and a score in those two contests. 


In New York, Uzomah will step into a depth chart this largely devoid of talent at tight end. The Jets do have mouths to feed at wide receiver with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis cemented in as the top two options and recent re-signee Braxton Berrios positioned well for slot duties. But Uzomah figures to see the lion’s share of Jets tight end targets.

Perhaps the biggest variable in the equation for Uzomah’s fantasy value is whether Zach Wilson can take a step forward in Year 2. The jury is still very much out on Wilson following a disappointing rookie campaign. There’s no doubt that Wilson is a major step down from Joe Burrow for Uzomah. That said, Uzomah has very real TE2 potential with the Jets. Just don’t expect consistent production from week to week.

On the Cincinnati side, the Bengals were widely mocked to take a tight end in last year’s draft. That didn’t happen, and with Uzomah gone, the team is left with blocking tight end Drew Sample as their top option. Sample isn’t a long-term replacement for Uzomah, so expect the Bengals to address the position either in free agency or in the draft. 

While this isn’t the greatest free agent tight end class, O.J. Howard is on the market. If they don’t go that direction, the Bengals could score a pass-catching option on the cheap with someone like Ricky Seals-Jones or Gerald Everett. Any one of those free agents signing with the Bengals would likely have more fantasy value than Uzomah with the Jets thanks to Joe Burrow’s presence in the offense.

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