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Around the AFC North: Bengals Reportedly Sign Irv Smith to Replace Hayden Hurst

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (84) handles the ball against Chicago Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon (6) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Minneapolis.

Cincinnati Bengals: Irv Smith Has Reportedly Been Signed to Replace Hayden Hurst

The Bengals have reportedly found a replacement for starting tight end Hayden Hurst.

Irv Smith, who caught 91 passes for 858 yards over the past three seasons with the Vikings, has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Bengals according to Peter Schrager of NFL Network.

Smith will be expected to compete for the starting job after Hurst, a former tight end with the Ravens, left the Bengals in free agency this month to sign with Carolina. Though Smith only played in eight games last season before a season-ending ankle injury, he is still only 24 years old and could blossom in Cincinnati's offense. He reportedly turned down other offers to join quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receivers Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

Chase tweeted his approval early Tuesday morning after hearing the Bengals had landed Smith.

At the Owners Meetings on Monday before Smith's signing was reported, Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor expressed confidence that Cincinnati would land a quality tight end. Taylor also said Tight Ends Coach James Casey would get the best out of whomever they added. Hurst caught 52 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns for Cincinnati last season.

"I feel good about where it's going to end up," said Taylor, via Geoff Hobson of "I think James Casey is the best tight ends coach in the NFL. Tell me a player that hasn't reached his full potential under James Casey and it will be the first one I've seen."

Cleveland Browns: Andrew Berry Finally Traded for Elijah Moore

After trading for Elijah Moore and signing Marquise Goodwin in free agency, General Manager Andrew Berry feels good about Cleveland's revamped receiving corps. Moore and Goodwin will join leading receiver Amari Cooper, who's coming off a 1,000-yard season (78 catches, 1,160 yards, nine touchdowns) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (61 catches, 839 yards, three touchdowns).

Berry said he tried to acquire the 22-year-old Moore from the Jets last season, but that a deal couldn't be worked out. 

"They were pretty adamant that they weren't looking to move him (then)," Berry said via Mary Kay Cabot of

But last week, Cleveland sent a second-round pick (42nd overall) to the Jets in exchange for Moore and a third-round pick. Berry believes the additions will help bring out the strengths in quarterback Deshaun Watson.

"Adding an element of deep, big play ability because of what we've seen Deshaun do in his past with that skillset in the receiver room," Berry said.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Veteran Cornerback Patrick Peterson Could See Snaps at Safety

After losing Terrell Edmunds to the Eagles in free agency, the Steelers haven't decided who will start at safety next to three-time Pro Bowler Minkah Fitzpatrick. However, Head Coach Mike Tomlin has already discussed giving safety reps to veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson.

"He's versatile. Not only in terms of his talents, but his intellect and we're not going to be bashful about moving him around," Tomlin said via Dale Lolley of "He and I have already had that discussion. I think he's really excited about the prospects of that."

Several Hall of Fame defensive backs including Rod Woodson and Charles Woodson have successfullyadjusted to playing safety late in their careers. Peterson said he would welcome the Steelers giving him the opportunity.

"I always used to beg my coaches, like, 'Man, just put me other places," Peterson said. "Because I always felt like if you're able to have a quality athlete, you just don't want to limit him into one thing."

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