Colts' Utecht Already Drawing Interest

After the Colts placed only the minimum tender on restricted free agent Ben Utecht, it didn't take long for another AFC team to show their interest in making a run at signing him to a deal. Get the details inside...

A league source has told Scout.com that the Cincinnati Bengals have expressed interest in bringing Colts tight end Ben Utecht in for a visit next week.

The versatile Utecht has been an asset to the Colts' high-powered offense over the past two seasons, starting 28 games. He's caught 68 passes during that span for an average of 11.3 yards-per-catch and one touchdown.

The 6-foot-6, 251-pound tight end would not only provide a large target with soft hands for Cincinnati's Carson Palmer, he would also be an asset to their running game. Utecht is a very capable and willing blocker when lined up next to an offensive tackle.

Averaging almost six yards per catch after making a reception, Utecht accounted for 20 of the Colts' first downs this season, usually finding a soft spot in the short middle zone or out on the flat after chipping a pass rusher. Fifty-four of his career catches have been made less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, and he's converted 50 percent of those chances into first downs.

Since the Colts only put a minimum tender on Utecht, the Bengals wouldn't have to give up any draft pick compensation as the former University of Minnesota player signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent when he entered the league. He spent his rookie season on the team's physically unable to perform list following sports hernia surgery.

Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.


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