clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bengals working out free agent kickers during bye week

This is what the Bengals should be doing this week, yet, it’s still (happily) pretty surprising that they are evaluating their options at the kicker position.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals reportedly brought in a few free agent kickers this week to evaluate the best options on the market during their bye week. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Bengals worked out Randy Bullock and Kai Forbath, among others.

ESPN’s Katherine Terrell also reported that Zach Hocker who was cut during the Bengals’ final roster moves in September, also was brought in for a workout.

This comes after Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed an extra point and 51-yard field goal in London against the Redskins as well as a 40 yard field goal at home inside Paul Brown Stadium against the Browns in Week 7. Nugent also had misses against the Cowboys and Jets earlier this season.

Nugent now has a 73.7% make rate this season on field goals and a 94.4% rate on extra points. That ranks among the worst NFL kickers, and the Bengals need a more reliable kicker to help them attempt to get back to the postseason for the sixth straight season.

It’s great to see the Bengals aren’t just sticking to the status quo, and even if they don’t sign one of these options, are considering who’s available and how the team can improve during the second half of the season.

Bullock has three years of NFL experience after spending 2013-2014 with the Texans, as well as part of 2015. He also spent time with the Jets in 2015. Bullock spent the summer with the Giants and was on the Week 1 roster when kicker Josh Brown was suspended for the first game of the season. But, he was released once Brown returned the following week. The Giants opted to go with Robbie Gould over Bullock when Brown was put on the commissioner’s exempt list prior to Week 7.

Bullock has an 80.6% make rate during his NFL career, including several makes at a distance greater than 50 yards. Nugent has yet to kick one successful 50+ yard field goal this season on three attempts and has proven to the Bengals that he can't be trusted at that great of a distance. Bullock did miss an extra point in the Giants' Week 1 game, so, the former Texas A&M kicker does have that going against him.

Forbath has four years of NFL experience including three seasons and one game spent on the Redskins. He spent most of last year on the Saints. His all-time make rate is 84.1% and his extra point rate is 97.6%. Both of those numbers are better than what Nugent has done this year. Last year with the Saints, Forbath was 9/13 on field goals, including a 57 yard attempt that he made. He also had one missed extra point on 34 attempts. Forbath spent the summer with the Saints, but Connor Barth won the kicking job in New Orleans after training camp and the preseason and the team released Forbath when finalizing their 53-man roster.

It’s clearly slim pickings as far as available kickers go as we head into Week 9 of the NFL season. Here’s our list of the best available kickers for the Bengals to consider.


In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise, the Bengals won’t be signing any of the kickers who worked out for the team today, per Jim Owczarski.