No-Name Tight End Irv Smith Says He Could Be Key To Bringing Super Bowl To Bengals

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Someone tell NFL tight end Irv Smith, Jr. to pump the brakes on the Super Bowl talk.

The recently signed Bengals tight end gave a brow-raising response to joining Cincinnati this offseason.

Fitting in with a high-powered offense led by Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, Irv Smith told Bengals reporter Geoff Hobson that he sees himself as “almost the missing piece” to winning a Super Bowl for Cincy.

Now, is Smith a Travis Kelce-type TE that can elevate the offense to win a championship?

Far from it.

Here’s what Irv Smith told Hobson regarding his one-year deal with Cincy:

“Having a relationship with Ja’Marr (Chase), getting to play with Joe Burrow and those guys speaks for itself. I’ve watched a lot of Bengals games over the years. I wanted to be a part of this opportunity to chase a ring and be a part of something special … I feel like I’m almost the missing piece to get us that Super Bowl.”

Irv Smith
(Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Irv Smith also spoke glowingly of the current offensive staff in Cincinnati.

“I felt like Cincinnati had the best chance to win a Super Bowl,” Irv Smith said. “It’s a great organization. Great coaching staff. (Head coach) Zac Taylor was very adamant about me coming to the team knowing what I can do to help the offense. And the proof is in the pudding at the tight end position.”

(Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The former second-round pick played in Minnesota from 2019 to 2022. Smith suffered from injury problems in his tenure with the Vikings, including having missed all of 2021 because of a torn meniscus.

The fifth-year tight end enjoyed his best season in 2020, catching 30 passes for 365 yards and five touchdowns. Again, not quite in the same stratosphere as guys like Kelce or even Darren Waller.


Coming into the Bengals offense, Smith would likely be the fourth-best receiving option for Burrow, behind wideouts Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. After Hayden Hurst left Cincy for Carolina, the Bengals faced a massive void at the position, also only having one TE with a contract (Devin Asiasi).

The Bengals ended the season with one of the worst-performing tight ends units in the NFL, and chances are that Cincinnati will look to the draft to bolster the position.

Smith better follow up the talk if he’s saying Super Bowl or bust.

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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