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Bengals Choose Graham Over Janitor For Franchise Tag

Posted by Matt on February 18, 2009


After weeks of speculation the Captain of the Titanic Bengals’ management did what we all long feared on Monday:  used the Franchise Tag on “Sugar” Shayne Graham.  What’s worse is everybody expected it.  John Thorton called it on his blog.  The geniuses over at WhoDey Revolution have been speculating this move for weeks.  Yet none of it prepared me for the stinging pain that shot through my head (Ed. Note: Could’ve been the hangover.) when I heard that Cincy had officially tagged a kicker.

Sure Shayne is great for the community and “Hanoi” Hobson’s spin zone seems to lean on his philanthropy as a valid reason to keep Graham around.  By all means don’t allow me to rain on anybody’s parade — Kicks for Kids is a GREAT campaign (ahem: started by Kentucky alum Doug Pelfrey) — but if we’re giving out top five salaries because of a little charity work I’ll have you know I recently donated hefty sums of money to a worthwhile college fund for some stripper’s kids.

Tagging a kicker isn’t unprecedented.  The Broncos have tagged Jason Elam in the past and the Seahawks have done the same to Josh Brown.  Shayne-o-Mac isn’t even the lone kicker tagged this year in a group that includes punter Michael Koenen out of Atlanta and Jason Hanson out of Detroit (0-16, solid company).  I also would care a little bit less if Graham was our lone high profile free agent this year, but he’s not and the Bengals also aren’t a few field goals away from being a contender.

Cincy has holes on both lines and has the best possession/third down wide receiver in the NFL today sitting on the cusp of free agency and they tag a kicker.  Even if Housh wants no part of coming back to Cincy and the Bengals’ feeling is mutual, tag him and decline to match an offer so the team receives first round draft picks in the 2009 AND 2010 drafts.

After locking up their kicker for at least another year — even though they can’t get INTO field goal range to begin with — “Hanoi” Hobson claims the Bengals will “jump in to the fray” for TJ once free agency begins but I can only imagine they’ll offer about as much money as I’d be offered as a male prostitute.  Then again, what do I know?

Clearly not as much as this widely successful managerial staff…


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