According to NFL Network's Rand Getlin, Tate's deal is one-year long.
Last season was a down year for Tate, who is used primarily on special teams. From 2011-2014, Tate averaged at least 8.9 yards per punt return with a long of at least 32 yards. In 2015, that average dropped to just 6.3 with a long return of 18 yards.
Of the 33 qualified players in punt return average across the league, Tate was ranked 27th in 2015.
The NFL moving up the spot of kickoffs to the 35-yard line has also hurt Tate, like most kick returners. In each of the past two years, Tate's had 18 returns, respectively, which is quite a drop from the 37.5 he averaged in the prior four years.
Tate hasn't been an effective receiver in the NFL, as he's never caught more than 24 passes in a single season, but his past five years as Cincinnati's main special teams returner probably made him an asset to bring back with free agency beginning on March 9.
The six-year veteran only caught two passes last season, but one of them was a big one, as the NFL showed:
WARNING: If you don't touch Brandon Tate after he makes a diving 50-yard catch He WILL dive into end zone #KCvsCIN http://t.co/JutphMTqsK2015-10-4 19:09:34
With just a one-year deal, though, another down season when it comes to special teams could make Tate expendable.
However, it is surprising that Tate is the first Bengals free agent wide receiver to be signed this offseason. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati's second-leading receiver last year, is a free agent, and No. 3 receiver Mohamed Sanu is also set to hit the market.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com