LaFell is on the third team of his career. Earlier this offseason, he was released by the New England Patriots after two seasons, spending his first four years in Charlotte.
The Carolina Panthers selected LaFell in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was an underachiever while with the Panthers, never once reaching 50 catches or 700 yards in four years. In 2014 he signed with the New England Patriots and appeared to have tuned a corner, reaching career highs across the board with 74 catches, 953 yards and seven touchdowns.
However, LaFell came crashing back to Earth in 2015. A foot injury limited him to 11 games and he was one of the least efficient receivers in the league, finishing the year with just 37 catches for 515 yards and failing to record a touchdown. He eventually became a cap casualty in the offseason.
The Bengals needed to shore up the receiver position after losing Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu in free agency. Jones signed with the Detroit Lions, and Sanu came to terms with the Atlanta Falcons. A.J. Green will remain Andy Dalton's top receiving target, and tight end Tyler Eifert will continue to be heavily involved in the passing offense as well. LaFell, however, should fill the role vacated by Jones. Jones finished the 2015 season with 816 yards and four touchdowns on 65 receptions.