Bengals Waive Kevin Huber – Mr. Cincinnati and the Team's Longtime Heart

Huber is as homegrown as they come.

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click to enlarge Kevin Huber has punted for the Cincinnati Bengals for the final time – maybe. - All-Pro Reels, Wikimedia Commons
All-Pro Reels, Wikimedia Commons
Kevin Huber has punted for the Cincinnati Bengals for the final time – maybe.

A key Cincinnati Bengals player is now floating free.

The Bengals waived longtime punter Kevin Huber on Dec. 5, opting to keep newbie Drue Chrisman at the position instead. Huber had spent 14 seasons with the Bengals and was a Cincinnati lifer in every sense of the word.

"Kevin was our punter for a very long time,” Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement. “We appreciated every moment he was here. He has been a steadying force for us, an excellent player and a good person. Any football team would be blessed to have him for the length of time we did."

Huber owns the team record for games played at 216, including 38 consecutive games from 2014 to 2022, the Bengals said. He leads the franchise in total punts (1011), punting yards (45,766), gross average (45.27), net average (40.34) and punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line (346).

Longtime Bengals fans know Huber for his dogged support of Cincinnati, both the region and the football team. He's as homegrown as they come, having been raised in Anderson and attending the University of Cincinnati, where he became a fierce punter as well as first-team All American in 2007 and 2008. The Bengals drafted Huber in 2009 in the fifth round, and he hadn't let the team – or the city – down since.
Just days before the Bengals went to the AFC divisional battle that led them to a remarkable run at Super Bowl LVI, Huber published a first-person piece in The Players' Tribune. Huber's extensive description of his love for Cincinnati and what it was like to experience his first playoff win (and the team's first playoff win in 31 years) was deeply personal and moving. A veteran Bengals player as well as a longtime fan who had suffered through so many losses, Huber gave the city a shot of real hope that this team was the one that could go all the way.  He wrote:
When Germaine picked that ball off to end the game last week, I started looking into the crowd. The noise was incredible. The excitement was contagious. I’d never seen Paul Brown Stadium like that — I’d never heard it like that. It was just so pure. And as I looked around, I saw fans throwing their arms in the air, jumping up and down and screaming their heads off. But for every one of them, there was a fan with their hands on their head, staring into the distance with just a smile on their face.

And I knew exactly what they were feeling.

Relief.
Huber ended his tale in the Tribune with even more hope, tying together the decades of loss with the newfound optimism and pointing out the fans who have been along for the long, long ride.
And that win against the Raiders? That was just the first step. If you’re from here, if you bleed orange and black — you know what that win really meant. You felt it deep in your soul. Because you’ve been here for the heartbreak, same as I have. When Germaine ran back to the sideline after the pick last Saturday, I looked at Coach Simmons, who’s been with us since 2003, and he looked at me…. And there was only one thing to say: “Finally.”
As Cincinnati fans – and the world – know by now, the Bengals surprised and delighted the hell out of the city with its miraculous Super Bowl journey. The team was mere minutes away from winning it all. The final outcome was little disappointing, yes – we were so close – but after more than three decades, finally being at the big show was a fantastic reward for someone like Huber, who had pushed through molasses to reach that point.
If Huber goes unclaimed on waivers, there's a chance that he could end up in a Bengals uniform again, but for the time being, any team has the opportunity to scoop him up. It would be painful to see someone who was born with orange and black blood playing elsewhere, but any franchise would benefit from a steady, wise, earnest presence like Huber's. The veteran punter was a key to Cincinnati daring to dream again, and that's as valuable as any stat out there.

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