CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Mike Nugent #2 of the Cincinnati Bengals kicks the game winning field goal during the NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 23-20.(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The deadline to sign franchise players to long term contracts has come and gone without a deal for kicker Mike Nugent. This news does not come as a shock. Nugent signed his franchise tender in late April, and while he expressed interest in a long term deal with the organization, a deal was not expected. He will now play 2012 under a one year franchise tag of $2.65 million. Given his attendance at recent mandatory OTAs and his prompt signing of the franchise tender, a holdout is not anticipated.
Mike Nugent was solid in 2011 making 33 of 38 kicks, yet late season reliability was an issue. He missed three kicks in the final two games after only missing two the previous 14 games. Should he be able to remain consistent and also prove his health is no longer a question--2011 was his first full season since 2007--then a long term deal is not out of the question following this upcoming season.