FOXBORO (CBS) – Wide receiver Brandon Tate was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Tate played just two games in his rookie season, but appeared in all 16 games for the Pats in 2010. He finished with 24 catches for 432 yards and and three touchdowns receiving.

The bulk of his work was as a kickoff returner. He ran back 41 kicks for 1,057 yards and two return touchdowns.

With the new rules moving kickoffs up five yards, Tate’s value as a returner with the Patriots diminished, especially since Taylor Price moved ahead of him on the wide receiver depth chart.

In other news, fifth round pick Lee Smith, a tight end, was reportedly claimed by the Bills.


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