The Cincinnati Bengals secured a fan favorite punter when they went out and got Kevin Huber back in 2009. Huber went from the University of Cincinnati to the Bengals. He is one of the longest tenured Bengals on the team — along with long snapper Clark Harris — and it is hard to remember life before he was the team’s punter.
Huber isn’t blind to the fact that the NFL isn’t a place where your history with a team will determine your job security. He became a free agent following the 2021 season, and didn’t re-sign with Cincinnati until teams were getting ready for OTAs. The reason was a simple one for Huber.
“Knowing it was more of a punt heavy incoming class than normal. I’m not dumb. I know I’m not going to be the punter for the next 60 years. It’s going to happen where at some point I’m not the punter,” Huber said on the Bengals Booth podcast. “I wanted to sit back and see what transpired in the draft because if they drafted one I totally get it. It’s just part of the job that we live in... When I got drafted they cut the other guys on the team so I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I would be almost trapped if they drafted someone.”
The life of a punter or kicker in the NFL is different from other positions in many ways, but they are not immune to being replaceable either, and Huber has been around long enough to know that.
From a career standpoint, he is absolutely right. He would have gained nothing by re-signing with the Bengals earlier in the offseason. All it would have done was commit him to a team that may view punter as a need. Then if they had drafted a punter, he would have likely had a competition that would be weighed heavily against him.
This way, he kept his options open — if Cincinnati did ultimately decide to use a draft pick on a punter — to explore options elsewhere in the NFL.
Huber will still likely be battling Drue Chrisman this offseason. The undrafted rookie from last season had multiple stints on the team’s practice squad, and it seems like they view him as an eventual replacement. It seems that Huber is at least comfortable with that.