A rookie scoring the decisive points in five games, including the AFC Championship, is crazy, but it’s just the beginning for Evan McPherson.
McPherson’s rookie season in many ways reflected the Bengals’ seemingly meteoric rise out of nowhere. The potential of his power and accuracy was realized almost immediately, and now he’s got an already tall bar to raise.
- Height: 5-foot-10
- Weight: 195
- Age: 23
- College: Florida
- Hometown: Fort Payne, AL
- Experience: 2nd year
McPherson’s rookie deal is worth $3.8 million and will keep him in stripes through the 2024 season. He’ll count for just over $900,000 against the cap this year.
The middle child, McPherson grew up competing with his two brothers in every possible way. Early on, a lot of this competition involved a soccer ball, and often games of horse with so many trick shots they rivaled the old McDonald’s commercials with Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and “Nothing but net.” When Evan’s older brother, Logan, started playing football in 8th grade, there was a dramatic shift, and uprights were added to the family soccer net.
Within this culture of sibling rivalry, there was also nurturing. The older brother was always looking to make the younger brother better. Before heading off to Louisiana Tech, Logan set the school record with a 57-yard field goal. Evan was of course highly motivated to beat his brother’s record, and when he hit a kick from 60 yards, it was the youngest, Alex, who was holding. Alex would later break Evan’s record with a 61-yarder.
After playing for former Bengals’ kicker Shayne Graham at Florida, McPherson was drafted by the Cincinnati in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was an instant success.
The Bengals’ 2021 Super Bowl run started with a game-winning kick by McPherson in overtime to beat the Minnesota Vikings. McPherson called his shot in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, famously saying “Looks like we’re going to the AFC Championship” before heading out to nail the 52-yard game-winner. A week later, another game-winner sent them to the Super Bowl. There, he tied Adam Vinatieri’s record by making 14 field goals in a single post-season. He set the NFL record for most field goals of 50+ yards in a season, making nine in the regular season and three more.
Outlook for 2022:
Expect McPherson to bring the same swagger and boot to the field in 2022. With the Bengals’ offseason improvements, notably to the offensive line, hopefully he is not called on for as many game-winners or 50+ yard attempts, but when they need either of those, they’ll be glad he’s there.
Roster Odds: 100%
Money Mac makes the final roster. You can take that to the bank.