It looks like Chad Ochocinco isn't the only Cincinnati Bengals player utilizing social networking services. Kicker Shayne Graham is getting in on the action too.
Since being hit with the franchise tag back in February, Graham has been relatively quiet as he and his agent Rob Roche have attempted to negotiate a long-term contract with the Bengals.
Back in May, Graham talked to the Cincinnati Enquirer about his one-year, $2.483 million franchise deal: "It's a lot of money for one year, but having that certainty of a long-term deal gives you a little more security."
Graham, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, has not spoken with the Enquirer about the situation since then.
Earlier this month, Graham gave Bengals.com a short quote on his frustrations with how the negotiations were going.
"There hasn't been any progress since [last year]," Graham told the team's official website. "I've given up making predictions. I never thought I would be the franchise player, but it will work itself out."
Graham may have been spinning things for the Bengals website, because only two hours after the 4 p.m. July 15 deadline passed for teams to lock up tagged players, Graham had this to say via Facebook (suggesting things might not work out):
"How can a team give you the franchise tag showing your value to them, but not agree to a long-term deal because they want a discount. Makes no sense. Uugggghh."
Over 20 of Graham's 850 friends commented on the situation, and one even said, "sounds like this is your last year in cinci."
The friend's comment wouldn't be relevant except that Graham didn't deny anything his friends suggested.
His response to many of them [and I'm paraphrasing all of his comments into one here] was, "I'll play out this year and we'll see what happens."
Graham is obviously unhappy with his situation.
Historically, the Bengals have been kind to kickers, as they've only had four since 1981 (although there were instances, like during Graham's injury last season, where another kicker played for a game or two).
However, the team seems unwilling to give Graham the contract he wants.
The Bengals have a history of shortchanging everyone from players to fans to N'Sync (they tried to charge the boy band for some messed-up grass after a concert earlier this decade).
It's hard not to be on the side of the Bengals' red-headed rightie.
**Update: Citing two anonymous sources and not Shayne Graham, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy claims that this profile is fake. I strongly disagree, Graham has several of his high school friends on this profile and one girl that we both know. I am 99.9 percent sure this is a real profile. **
**Update II: I exchanged emails with Joe Reedy from the Cincinnati Enquirer. He feels strongly about his sources, I sent him some evidence, the bottom line is we both agreed that the other person could potentially be correct, Reedy changed his headline to 'Shayne Graham Facebook Rumor.' He was very professional and I'll still be following him as he covers the Bengals for the Enquirer this year.**
(The picture above is the screen grab from Graham's profile. To see it more clearly and to read about how his negotiations with Bengals management may have gone, you can check out my blog. Click on the picture in the blog to see it clearly.)
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