The Cincinnati Bengals announced Monday they had re-signed kicker Mike Nugent to a new two-year contract.
Nugent, an 11-year pro, will play his sixth Bengals season in 2015 after originally signing with the club in 2010.He holds Bengals records for most field goals (33) and points (132) in a season, set in 2011, and he shares the team mark for longest field goal (55 yards) while holding the mark for longest playoff field goal (57).
His 57-yard field goal in last season's playoff game vs. the Colts is the second-longest in NFL postseason history, and he is six-for-seven for his career on postseason field goals, his only miss coming from 50 yards.
"I'm excited to have Mike back with us," said special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons. "Mike dealt with some tough issues last season (including the death of his father), but he finished the year strong, and we're looking for him to pick up where he left off. Also this means we'll have our specialist trio back, with (snapper) Clark Harris and (holder) Kevin Huber, and keeping the continuity with those guys working as a unit is a big asset for us."
The two-year deal is worth $4 million with $500,000 tied to incentives -- maxing out at $250,000 during each year of the contract. Bengals.com beat writer Geoff Hobson originally broke the story earlier on Sunday that an agreement was close.
Since joining the Bengals in 2010, Nugent has been one of the league's better placekickers -- despite random bouts of inconsistency. Then things got a little squirrely last season. If you only look at the numbers, Nugent had his worst year as a pro -- a 78.8% field goal efficiency score, ranked 27th in the NFL. Seven misses tied a career-high and his infamous Week 6 miss against the Panthers led to an embarrassing game-ending tie.
After that, Nugent transformed into a machine by converting 16 of 17 kicks for the rest of the season, including a franchise record 57-yard shot during Cincinnati's postseason loss in Indianapolis.
Cincinnati originally signed Nugent to a two-year deal on April 23, 2010, but he wasn't originally the preferred choice. Dave Rayner had beaten out Nugent during a kicking competition on Feb. 12, 2010 -- however the Bengals and Nugent stayed in contact until a deal was reached.
Nugent, a native of Centerville (near Dayton), was selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft. After playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals for a collective six games in 2009, the Ohio native settled down in Cincinnati, where he's been for the past five years.