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Bengals strike first with free-agent signing

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Posted at 4:27 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 16:27:32-05

CINCINNATI — With two wide receivers set to test the free-agent market, the Bengals have re-signed backup receiver and kick returner Brandon Tate, the club announced Friday.

It's a one-year deal, according to NFL.com. The Bengals did not disclose terms.

Tate caught only two passes last season, but the Bengals are in danger of losing their second and third best receivers, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, to free agency.

Tate played a bigger role as a returner with 27 punt returns (6.3 yard average) and 18 kickoff returns (22.9).

In all, the Bengals now have 12 starters and regulars eligible for unrestricted free agency,  including  four of their top five defensive backs (starting safeties Reggie Nelson and George Iloka and cornerbacks Leon Hall and Adam Jones), starting right tackle Andre Smith, linebackers Emmanuel Lamur and Vincent Rey, and defensive linemen Wallace Gilberry, Brandon Thompson and Pat Sims.