Bengals to give Graham the boot over Facebook message?

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals aren’t expected to bring back kicker Shayne Graham because his franchise tag would cost too much. There is also some bad blood between Graham and the team after the kicker apparently ripped the Bengals on his Facebook page last year.

Graham was tagged by the Bengals last year for $2.483 million, and if they would chose to do so again this year it would be $2.814 million. After Graham was tagged last year, both sides tried to reach a multi-year agreement with no success. He goes into this offseason with a new agent, dropping Rob Roche in favor of David Dunn.

The lack of a new contract exasperated Graham. When the July 15 deadline passed, he ripped the organization on his Facebook page. We also never did find out if Graham thought if his two misses against the Jets in the AFC wild card playoff game were his last. Graham quickly left the locker room after the game and also ducked out of a side entrance the next day when players were departing for the offseason.

There might be nothing lamer than a kicker ripping an organization on his Facebook page. At least if he does it on Twitter, it’s considered hip and controversial. Doing it on Facebook makes him look like a 17-year-old girl that is angry because her parents wouldn’t give her the keys to their car for the night.

Shayne Graham says…I am sooooo mad about the Bengals 4 not giving me more $. Like, soooo mad. NBD though, bc I m going to ROFL when I kick well next yr. BBL…

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Browns drop to 0-4 under Mangini

The Browns’ 23-20 overtime loss to instate rival Cincinnati on Sunday really summed up Eric Mangini’s start in Cleveland.

Carson PalmerThe Browns did the improbable in the fourth quarter by blocking an extra point following a Chad Ochocinco 2-yard touchdown pass to force overtime. Then they really did the improbable by allowing a gimpy Carson Palmer to scramble 15 yards in the extra period to set up Shayne Graham’s game-winning 31-yard field goal with four seconds remaining.

Did I mention that Palmer’s scramble was on fourth down? Had they stopped the Bengals on that play, Mangini and the Browns were looking at a tie at the very least, which certainly would have been better than suffering their fourth consecutive loss.

The good thing for Cleveland is that they fought hard after trailing Cincinnati 14-7 early in the first half. They also forced two key turnovers and the offense looked more efficient with Anderson under center than they did with Brady Quinn in previous weeks. Jerome Harrison rushed for 121 yards on 29 carries, while rookie receiver Mohamed Massaquoi caught eight passes for 148 yards.

But moral victories don’t really count when you’re 0-4. Mangini deserves time to build the roster he wants, but in the meantime he still needs to produce a victory or two because the Cleveland faithful has suffered enough. A win today would have given Mangini a little support.

Hell, a tie would have done the same thing.

Top 10 active NFL field goal percentage leaders

It’s almost fantasy football time, and many of you, like me, have already been doing your research. So let’s take a look at a category that you may not pay much attention to, and many experts will tell you not to anyway. That’s field goal percentage. I realize choosing a kicker is like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, but good references are to pick those on good offensive teams, or those that can’t score TDs and create more field goal attempts. But it’s also good to pick an accurate kicker, whether that kicker plays in a dome or not. I mean, why take your chances on someone who kicks 25 field goals but misses another 25? So here is a list of the active Top 10 in field goal percentage. You can thank me later.

1. Nick Folk, Dallas Cowboys (86.79%)—For as good as Folk’s rookie season was in 2007, he had less attempts but was even more accurate in 2008, kicking 20 of 22 field goals (90.9%). Which reminds me, what the hell ever happened to Mike Vanderjagt?

2. Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers (86.13%)—Sure, he kicks mostly in warm weather, but Kaeding is about as automatic as they come.

3. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears (85.94%)—If you’re hitting better than 17 out of 20 times when your home field is in the WINDY city, you’re damn good.

4. Shayne Graham, Cincinnati Bengals (85.64%)—One of the lone bright spots on a team that is perpetually going nowhere.

5. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots (85.56%)—No Adam Vinatieri? No problem. This kid stepped in as a rookie in 2006 and has improved each year, hitting 36 of 40 field goal attempts last season (90%) and leading the NFL in total points (148).

6. Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans (84.50%)—Bironas is extremely dependable, but nothing topped his 2007 All-Pro campaign, when dude kicked an NFL record 8 field goals against Houston.

7. Matt Stover, free agent (83.70%)—The amazing thing about Stover is that he’s been doing it for so long. He broke in with the Browns in 1991 and moved with the team to Baltimore in 1996, where he played until last season.

8. Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns (82.81%)—One of the original “expansion” Browns, Dawson, like his counterpart Graham in southern Ohio, has been a bright spot on a bad team for years.

9. Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh Steelers (82.65%)—Every year they seem to talk about how hard it is to kick in Heinz Field, so the fact that Jeff Reed is even on this list says a lot about his ability. I’d love to know what the guy could do playing in Minnesota for a year.

10. John Carney, free agent (82.59%)—Carney stepped in for Lawrence Tynes last season and all he did was hit 35 of 38 field goal attempts, an amazing 92.1% clip. It’s even more amazing because Carney played half his games in windy Giants Stadium, and because he did it at the age of 44.

Source: Pro Football Reference

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