Bengals free agent WR Brandon LaFell mentioned that he would “definitely” like to be back in Cincinnati for the 2017 season, but also admitted it’s not up just up to him.
“I’d definitely like to be back but it’s out of my hands, man,” LaFell said, via Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Whatever happens, happens. But hopefully I’ll be able to come back because I feel like in the second year within the offense with Andy (Dalton), I think I’ll be even better.”
While LaFell had a decent role in the team’s offense last year, Owczarski points out the Bengals will be looking for larger contributions from WR A.J. Green and TE Tyler Eifert next year after they both dealt with injuries. Beyond that, Owczarski expects them to look add some speed at receiver to go along with rookie Tyler Boyd, who could see a larger role in their offense next season.
LaFell seems reasonable with his expectations for free agency, even though he feels like he proved enough to warrant a multi-year contract.
“Everybody wants that security, that multi-year deal with a little security, but hey man, at the end of the day free agency is free agency,” LaFell said. “You never get what you want, you get what you deserve. I’m a firm believer of that. So whatever I get that’s what the man upstairs feels like I deserve. Whatever happens, it happens. Me coming in playing on a one-year deal, that was pretty a much a prove it deal. I proved I could stay healthy, I proved I could catch the ball consistently. I felt like I did that. So whatever happens in March or whenever it happens, it’ll be a blessing.”
LaFell, 30, is a former third-round pick of the Panthers back in 2010. He spent four seasons in Carolina before joining the Patriots as a free agent back in 2014.
Last year, signed LaFell to a one-year, $2,500,000 contract that included a $1 million signing bonus. He’s once again in position to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
In 2016, LaFell appeared in all 16 games for the Bengals and caught 64 passes for 862 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 42 receiver out of 115 qualifying players.