Occasionally, we'll pause here to take a quick look back at a select few moments in Cincinnati Bengals history.
As you well know, on the field that history has mostly been fraught with pain and defined by losing. But there have been many a joyous day, too, in the nearly 46 years the franchise has operated. We're here to relive it all; the happy times, the sad ones and the ones that simply make the Bengals one of the more unique teams in all of football.
March 6, 2004
On this date 10 years ago, the Bengals had a series of moves take place in the early days of that year's free agency period.
Kicker Shayne Graham's time as a restricted free agent ended when the Bengals matched the five-year, $6.5 million offer sheet from Jacksonville. He remained a Bengal.
Also on this day, unrestricted free agent right guard Mike Goff and cornerback Artrell Hawkins left the team. Goff signed a five-year deal with San Diego, and Hawkins was released. Hawkins, then a six-year veteran, was entering the final season of a three-year deal. He went on to play three more seasons, spending them with the Panthers and Patriots.
Here is where history has an interesting way of coming full circle. Hawkins' younger brother, Andrew, is a Bengals receiver. Tendered Wednesday, Andrew Hawkins is a restricted free agent hoping to field offers that the Bengals, as they did with Graham, could decide to match. If the Bengals don't match, he would be free to sign with the team that made the offer.
Graham set multiple Bengals kicking records before leaving after the 2009 season. Some of them, namely the single-season scoring and field goals made records, have since been broken by current kicker Mike Nugent.
As much of an imprint as Graham left on the Bengals record books, many in Cincinnati will remember him for his two missed field goals in his last game as a Bengal. During the 2009 wild-card round playoff game against the Jets, Graham sailed one kick wide left and another wide right. Both came in the second half of a game Cincinnati ultimately lost, 24-14.
The embattled kicker has bounced around a lot since his departure following the playoff loss, playing for the Patriots, Giants, Ravens, Dolphins, Texans, Steelers and Saints since 2010. New Orleans signed him to a one-year deal earlier this offseason.
Goff went on to spend five seasons with the Chargers, making the playoffs in each of them. His career ended in 2009 after playing one year with the Chiefs.