A seventh-year NFL player for 2015, Tate has contributed in various roles for the Bengals, primarily as a kickoff and punt returner, and he saw increased action on offense in ’14 ... Caught 17-for-193 with a TD ... Had key 49-yard punt return in playoff-clinching win Dec. 22 vs. Denver, setting up go-ahead score, and also had a key return in win Dec. 14 at Cleveland ... Has played all 16 games in each of the last five seasons ... In 2011, set Bengals record for combined kickoff and punt returns in a season (93), as well as for total punt return yards (543) and most punt returns (51) ... Earned an AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in ’11 ... Returned two kickoffs for TDs for Patriots in 2010.
Career transactions: Selected by New England in third round of 2009 NFL Draft (83rd overall) ... Signed with Patriots on 7-23-09 ... Waived by Patriots on 9-3-11 ... Acquired on waivers by Cincinnati on 9-4-11 ... Re-signed with Bengals as unrestricted free agent on 3-25-13 ... Re-signed with Bengals on 3-11-14.
2014 highlights: Played in Games 1-16, and in Wild Card playoff ... In addition to his 193 receiving yards, had three rushes for 21 yards ... Averaged 22.1 yards on 18 kickoff returns and 9.7 yards on 18 punt returns ... Started Games 5-7 at WR in place of injured A.J. Green ... Four catches for 19 yards on Sept. 7 at Baltimore ... One catch for 50 yards, his longest as a Bengal, on pass from WR Mohamed Sanu on Sept. 14 vs. Atlanta ... Started at WR and caught four-for-38 with a five-yard TD on Oct. 12 vs. Carolina, and had one rush for nine yards ... Started at WR on Oct. 26 vs. Baltimore and caught two-for-30, with both of his catches going for first downs ... On Dec. 14 at Cleveland, his 30-yard punt return in second quarter set up a 36-yard TD drive ... Had a 12-yard reception Dec. 22 vs. Denver, and his 49-yard punt return to Broncos 22 in fourth quarter set up FG that put Bengals ahead to stay at 30-28 ... Caught two-for-22, with a fourth-down conversion and a third-down conversion, on Dec. 28 at Pittsburgh.
Previous seasons: 2009—Limited by injuries to two games for New England ... Played his first game Oct. 25 against Tampa Bay, at London, England’s Wembley Stadium, and he had an 11-yard rush plus two KOR for 22.0 average ... Placed on Reserve/Injured list Nov. 14. 2010—Led New England with 18.0-yard reception average, catching 24 for 432 yards and three TDs ... Third in AFC and sixth in NFL in kickoff returns, with 25.8-yard average on 41 attempts ... Returned second-half kickoff 97 yards for TD Sept. 12 vs. Bengals ... Returned second-half kickoff 103 yards for TD Oct. 4 at Miami, second-longest KOR in Patriots history ... Was first Patriot since 2002 to return two kickoffs for TDs in a season ... Had three catches for 103 yards on Oct. 31 vs. Minnesota, including 65-yard TD that was Patriots’ longest scrimmage play of season ... Two TD receptions in regular-season finale 1-2-11 vs. Miami, for 40 and 42 yards ... Started Divisional playoff game 1-16-11 vs. N.Y. Jets (no catches), logging 21.6-yard average on five KORs. 2011—Played in all 16 Bengals games, plus Wild Card playoff ... Saw action primarily on special teams, averaging 10.6 yards on 51 punt returns (eighth in AFC), with one TD, and 23.8 yards (seventh in AFC) on 42 kickoff returns ... Named AFC Special teams Player of the Week for performance Oct. 30 at Seattle, when his 186 total return yards included 56-yard punt return for TD ... Averaged 35.5 yards on two punt returns Dec. 18 at St. Louis, including 56-yarder in third quarter that set up a Cincinnati TD for a 13-6 lead. 2012—Played in every Bengals game, logging 13 catches for 211 yards and one TD ... Also played in Wild Card playoff ... His 16.2-yard per-catch average led the team ... Averaged 8.9 yards on 21 punt returns and 24.8 yards on 32 kickoff returns ... Three-for-71 receiving in win Sept. 16 vs. Cleveland, including a 44-yard TD in third quarter ... On Oct. 14 at Cleveland, had 32-yard punt return that set up a TD ... In playoff-clinching win on Dec. 23 at Pittsburgh, had a 23-yard gain to the Pittsburgh 24-yard line on a shovel pass in the second quarter, setting up a Cincinnati FG. 2013—Played in every game ... Saw brief action on offense and had one catch for six yards ... Averaged 26.1 yards on 35 kickoff returns and 9.3 yards on 36 punt returns ... In overtime on Oct. 13 at Buffalo, set up offense at Bills 33 with a 29-yard punt return, and three plays later, Mike Nugent kicked game-winning 43-yard FG ... On Oct. 27 vs. N.Y. Jets, his 71-yard kickoff return to Jets 29 set up a TD for 28-6 halftime lead ... Averaged 25.6 yards on five kickoff returns in Wild Card playoff on 1-5-14 vs. San Diego.
College: Left North Carolina with NCAA record for combined career punt and kickoff return yards (3523), despite missing final seven games of 2008 senior season ... Set Atlantic Coast Conference records for both career kickoff returns (109) and career kickoff return yards (2688) ... In 2006 vs. Duke, became ninth player in NCAA history to return a kickoff and a punt for TDs in same game.
Personal: Hometown is Burlington, N.C. ... Attended Cummings High School, where he was a three-year starter in both football and basketball ... Helped lead prep basketball team to a state title as a junior, playing guard ... Communications major at North Carolina.
The Bengals on Monday officially announced the signing of wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Tate, which has been reported as a one-year deal. The move locks up virtually all of the club's key special teams performers from a unit that finished first when combining the NFL's top 10 categories.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon Tate scores a 5-yard touchdown from quarterback Andy Dalton when he dives into the end zone.
After the first punt hit the Dallas Cowboys scoreboard, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Brandon Tate returns the re-punt 75-yards for a touchdown.