One of thousands of the presumptions we've made since the season came to crashing halt, we suspected that the Bengals weren't likely to bring Shayne Graham back next year. You can almost notch that as a certainty now. Local 12 learned that "the Bengals are parting ways with Shayne Graham." Joe Reedy first speculated that Graham wouldn't return when the Bengals brought in a couple of kickers to try out on Friday. However Reedy notes that Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons "did leave the door slightly open over the possibility of a return."
“It’s going to be an ongoing evaluation where we are going to bring some free agents in and see where Shayne falls in comparison to them,” special teams coach Darrin Simmons said. “We’ll also have to see the likelihood of signing a free agent or possibly getting a kicker in the draft and going that route.
One of those kickers that tried out is Dave Rayner, who, if you remember, filled in for an injured Shayne Graham in 2008, converting three extra points and a 26-yard field goal.
As for Graham, 2009 was arguably his worst season. His field goal percentage (82.1) was his worst since converting 72.2% of this kicks with the Carolina Panthers in 2002. Two of his three blocked field goals came in 2009 and extra points, while not completely his fault, were still crazy-nervous.
Hey, Mike Nugent is out there. Just saying. Anyway, if there's a lesson learned here, it's that the Bengals are better off not franchise anyone... ever. Or risk having that player perform at career low levels.