NFL Free Agency: Cincinnati Bengals Contact Reps for Houston TE Joel Dreessen

Tom BrewerCorrespondent IIMarch 17, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 30:  Joel Dreessen #85 of the Houston Texans celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium on October 30, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Mark Berman, sports director at KRIV, Fox 26 in Houston reported via Twitter that the Cincinnati Bengals contacted the agent for Texans free agent tight end Joel Dreessen. This comes after Cincinnati lost out on Chicago Bears TE Kellen Davis, who re-signed in the Windy City.

Dreessen, a six-year pro, had a career-best six touchdowns last season, including a last-second score to beat the Bengals in Week 14. He is a relatively hot prospect, as he has drawn interest from the Oakland Raiders and will visit with the New Orleans Saints this weekend.

The Bengals have clearly made adding tight end depth a priority in free agency. They appear to be targeting athletic tight ends to line up opposite Jermaine Gresham. Instead of re-signing Donald Lee, who played well last season, Cincinnati is aiming young.

Perhaps the Bengals are using the model set by the 2011 New England Patriots. Bookend TEs Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski were the catalysts for the Pats offense last season because their athleticism makes them difficult to cover for opposing linebackers.

What is a bit confounding about the Bengals' interest in Dreessen and Davis is that tight end did not be the team's most glaring area of need. Gresham is an emerging superstar at the position, Lee—a proven player—is a solid blocker and pass-catcher and they have a young tight end on the roster in Colin Cochart. 

It will be interesting, and probably confusing, to see who the Bengals target next.