On April 14, 2009, Mike Mickens was one of several local products that worked out for the team planning to enter the NFL draft. Others included Conner Barwin, DeAngelo Smith, Michael Mitchell and Eric Wood. Mickens was arguably the Bearcats' best defensive back, if not best defensive player, during UC's BCS run that landed them in the Orange Bowl. Mickens amassed 14 career interceptions, three for touchdown and 66 tackles his final year with the Bearcats.
Before suffering a season-ending cartilage injury, Mickens was often ranked in the top ten, if not the top five, among the best cornerbacks coming out into the NFL draft. The Dallas Cowboys drafted Mickens in the seventh round along with teammate DeAngelo Smith, who also played good ball as the team's other cornerback. Both UC cornerbacks were cut by the Cowboys on cutdown day. Mickens made the Cowboys practice squad and stayed there until early November, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Mickens to their 53-man roster. Tampa Bay released Mickens last week.
On Monday, Bengals.com reports, that "Mickens was in the Bengals locker room with indications he was on a workout for the practice squad." It remains to be seen if the Bengals are officially working Mickens out, especially with the practice squad already being full. However, they do have two cornerbacks on the squad, Antonio Smith and Rico Murray, that could be released to open a spot. It could be argued that Mickens is in town to join his Bearcats buddies for a massive game against the Panthers in Pittsburgh. But that still wouldn't make sense why he's in the Bengals lockerroom.
And to round out the former UC cornerbacks story of the day, it would only be proper to point out that DeAngelo Smith will be returning to Cincinnati for the first time in his professional career with the Detroit Lions.
UPDATE: Not only is his visit confirmed, but the Bengals signed Mickens to the team's practice squad and released cornerback Antonio Smith to make room.