Nugent thanks Bengals for loyalty

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No surprises. Mike Nugent exits with class.

Born to be a Bengal, Mike Nugent, the son of Bengals season-ticket holders, went out the only way he knew how. With a Freezer Bowl gust of class and a salute to his hometown team.

A day after head coach Marvin Lewis told him the Bengals had moved to a new kicker, Nugent texted a statement that reached out to everyone from Bengals president Mike Brown and his family to the fans to thank them "for allowing me to live my dream," during his seven seasons with the team.

"Although this isn't the way I expected to leave Cincinnati,  I know that in this business there comes a point where things need to change," he wrote. "The support I've received from the owners, coaches and my teammates demonstrates how loyal the organization is and that they truly do treat their players like family."

Before his game suddenly went awry in midseason with five missed extra points in the last five games, Nugent, 34, came from Bengals lore to become one of the best kickers in franchise history. Less than two months before he was born, his mother attended the 1981 AFC title game at Riverfront Stadium held in minus-59-degree wind chill.

"If you're warm, the baby is warm," the doctor told his mother a few days before the game and Nugent bounced out of Centerville High School and Ohio State to become the Bengals' third-leading scorer of all-time in his fourth NFL stop.

"During this hard time I'm so thankful for all the great memories on and off the field that my family and I have experienced in Cincinnati," Nugent texted.

"I was born and raised a Bengals  fan. I will always have love for the Cincinnati community and be proud to say that I was part of the Bengals organization. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my time here and I wish you all the best in the future."

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