Former ND tight end Eifert signs with Bengals

Bob Wieneke
South Bend Tribune

During the days before training camp starts, former Notre Dame tight end and Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick Tyler Eifert has spent time at his family's lake home near Angola, Ind.

Mornings have included drives to Fort Wayne to work out before relaxing in the afternoons with time on the golf course. On Monday, the oppressive heat pushed Eifert's planned round later into the day.

"It's like 90 degrees," Eifert said Monday afternoon during a conference call. "We'll let it cool down a little bit before we head out."

It still was a productive day as Eifert signed his contract with the Bengals, agreeing to a four-year deal, less than two weeks ahead of the July 26 opening of training camp. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on its website that the deal is expected to be worth $8.256 million. The team has the right to tender Eifert for a fifth year.

"I don't think there was ever any worry that we wouldn't get it done before training camp," Eifert said.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Eifert, who played at Dwenger High in Fort Wayne, was the 21st overall pick in the April draft after winning the Mackey Award last season as the top tight end in college football. His 140 career receptions are the most ever by an ND tight end.

The heat wasn't the only minor obstacle that Eifert faced on Monday. Technology also jumped in.

"We had some issues getting the contract sent in because the (Internet) service up here isn't real good and the WiFi struggles a little bit," Eifert said, "but we got it done."

Watch list-palooza

The rush of preseason watch lists continued Monday when the Butkus (top linebacker) and Rotary Lombardi (linebacker or lineman) lists were released.

Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo, defensive linemen Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix, and left tackle Zack Martin were named to the Lombardi list.

Irish linebackers Shembo, Carlo Calabrese and Dan Fox were named to the Butkus list.

Former Irish linebacker Manti Te'o, now with the San Diego Chargers, won both awards last season.

Cincinnati Bengals' Tyler Eifert throws a pass during a Play 60 event as part of NFL football's rookie symposium at the Cleveland Browns practice facility in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, June 25, 2013.