Kyle Larson had a career year last season. He reached career highs in punting average (44.5, 9th in the NFL) and punts inside the 20 (26, 12th in the NFL). His net average (38.6, t-4th in the NFL) was three yards higher than his previous seasons. So when the Bengals tendered him it wasn't much of a surprise. Larson, heading into his fourth season, finally signed the $1.3 million contract.
The Press Release:
Larson (6-1, 204; Nebraska) is a fourth-year NFL player in 2007. He broke into the NFL’s top ten last season in two major categories, ranking fifth in net punting average (38.6) and eighth in gross punting average (44.5). His net average was the best by a Bengal since 1995, and his gross average was the team’s best since 1998.
Larson has handled every Bengals punt for the last three seasons, since signing with Cincinnati as a college free agent in 2004. He also has been the team’s holder on place kicks his entire career, aiding club-record streaks by K Shayne Graham of 17 straight FGs and 158 straight PATs.
Larson is the fourth veteran free agent to sign with the Bengals since the league year began on March 2. Previous signees included two of the club’s unrestricted free agents -- TE Reggie Kelly and HB Kenny Watson -- and free agent C Alex Stepanovich (last with Arizona).
Hobson makes mention this will be the start of signing all restricted free agents.