Bengals News

Free Agent Punters Bengals Should look at

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Dec 2, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (5) punts during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Vikings 23-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Kluwe, age 31, recorded career-high 39.7 net punting average on 72 punts last season. But the team drafted Jeff Locke in the fifth round out of UCLA and released Kluwe.

He signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders, but they opted to go with Marquette King, an undrafted free agent out of Fort Valley State in 2012 who grossed 53.6 yards and netted 45.3 on seven punts in his second preseason with the Raiders.

Kluwe’s seven preseason punts grossed 46.6 yards and netted 37.4. According to Pro Football Focus, Kluwe graded as the 35-best punter in 2012 out of 40 eligible players. 

If the Bengals don’t sign Kluwe, former Steelers punter Zoltan Mesko. A fifth-round draft pick in 2010, The New England Patriots cut him in late August, and the Steelers signed him because they weren’t satisfied with Drew Butler and Brian Moorman, who had battled for the job during training camp.

Mesko ranked near the bottom of the NFL with a 42.5 punting average, and his inconsistency led the Steelers to cut him. In comparison with Kluwe, Meska was graded as the 22nd-best punter in 2012 by PFF.

This is all of course assuming Huber is out for multiple weeks, if not the rest of the year, and the team chooses not to go with Mike Nugent as both the kicker and punter.