Utecht, who played for the Colts as a backup tight end/H-back, is a restricted free agent, which means the Colts still have the right to match the terms of Cincinnati's offer if they want to keep Utecht, who has four years of NFL service.
If Indianapolis doesn't match the offer within seven days, Utecht will become a Bengal. The Colts aren't entitled to any compensation as Utecht was joined the team as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Minnesota and was not tendered by the Colts beyond draft-status level.
Terms of the offer weren't disclosed Friday, although the length of the contract is three years.
Utecht (6 feet, 6 inches, 251 pounds) has played in 41 games with 30 starts for Indianapolis over the past three seasons (2005-07). He also has played six postseason games with five starts, including a start in Indianapolis' victory in Super Bowl XLI following the 2006 season.
He has 71 catches for 800 yards (11.3 avg.) in regular-season play, with three TDs. He has six catches for 61 yards in postseason play.
In 2007, Utecht played in 14 games with 13 starts. He made 31 catches for 364 yards and one TD.
Utecht joined the Colts in 2004, but was on the Physically Unable to Perform list and did not earn an accrued year toward NFL free agency.
The Colts, who don't have much room to maneuver under the NFL's salary cap, have already lost one player to free agency, as guard Jake Scott signed with the Tennesee Titans last week as an unrestricted free agent.