Bengals Release Veteran Kicker Mike Nugent

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Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber (10) holds as kicker Mike Nugent (2) attempts a successful field goal in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber (10) holds as kicker Mike Nugent (2) attempts a successful field goal in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals have released Mike Nugent. To replace him, they’ve signed former Steelers kicker Randy Bullock. 

It’s been a rough season for the Bengals, and the kicking game hasn’t helped.

At the beginning of the season, things were looking up for Mike Nugent. He was a perfect 10-for-10 on field goals and 14-for-15 on extra points through six weeks, the best start to a season in his career. But the streak ended there.

In Week 7, he missed two extra points against the Browns. Cincinnati won handily, so it wasn’t a major issue, but eyebrows were raised at Nugent’s less-than-stellar performance.

Nugent’s play took a dramatic turn for the worse in Week 8. The Bengals were 3-4, and desperately needed a win in London to remain afloat in a division with the strongest Ravens and Steelers teams it had seen in years. But after a missed extra point and a missed field goal, the Bengals only managed a 27-27 tie against Washington. Either of those two missed kicks could have been the difference in the game.

He went on to miss two field goals in a four-point loss to Buffalo in Week 11. And one more in the Bengals’ close loss to the Ravens in Week 12. After another week of multiple missed kicks in this past Sunday’s game against the Browns, the organization felt they’d witnessed enough.

Coach Marvin Lewis hadn’t been too forthcoming with information about the status of the kicker’s roster spot in light of his recent struggles, but evidently a line was crossed. In last week’s game against the Browns, Nugent dipped to under 80% (79.3%) on both field goals and extra points on the season. That was near league-worst in both categories.

Next: Bengals Win Over Steelers Could Ease The Pain

To replace Nugent, the Bengals have signed free agent Randy Bullock, who filled in for the Steelers when their kicker, Chris Boswell, was out with an abdominal injury. He’ll get a rematch against his old team this week when the Bengals take on the Steelers in Cincinnati this Sunday.

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