Classified a third-year player for 2012, Hayden is in his second season with Cincinnati, looking to claim a spot in D-line rotation ... Joined Bengals late in 2011, playing in two games ... A sixth-round selection by Carolina in the 2008 draft, he played in 10 games with two starts in ’09 and played in 14 games with 10 starts in ’10 ... Logged 85 tackles and 2.0 sacks with Carolina, playing 26 games with 14 starts.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Selected by Carolina in sixth round of 2008 NFL Draft (181st overall) ... Signed with Panthers on 7-10-08 ... Waived 8-31-08, and signed 9-1-08 to Panthers practice squad ... Signed to Panthers active roster on 12-20-08 ... Waived by Carolina on 9-3-11 ... Signed with Bengals as free agent on 12-7-11.
PREVIOUS SEASONS: 2011 - Opened training camp with Carolina ... Waived on Sept. 3 ... Signed Dec. 7 to Bengals roster and played in Games 13-14, logging three tackles (all Dec. 18 at St. Louis) ... Inactive for Games 15-16, and for Wild Card playoff.
2010—Started the last 10 games for Carolina at DT ... Also played in Games 2 and 4-6 ... Inactive for Game 1 and also for Game 3 vs. Bengals ... Logged career-best 51 tackles, with a sack, a pass defensed and two QB pressures ... Shared sack of Todd Collins on Oct. 10 vs. Chicago and deflected a Collins pass that was intercepted by Everette Brown ... Had seven tackles vs. Chicago, which tied with Dec. 12 vs. Atlanta for his season-best ... Also vs. Atlanta, shared sack of Matt Ryan for 13-yard loss.
2009—Played for Carolina in 10 games ... Started in Games 1-2 and 4 ... Inactive for the other six games, including one due to toe injury ... Totaled 31 tackles with one sack ... Had first career solo sack Dec. 6 vs. Tampa Bay, a two-yard drop of Josh Freeman ... Had a career-best nine tackles Dec. 13 at New England.
2008—Drafted by Carolina in sixth round (181st overall) ... Waived Aug. 31, and signed Sept. 1 to Panthers practice squad, where he spent Games 1-14 ... Signed to roster on Dec. 20 and played in Games 15-16 as well as in the one Panthers playoff game, Divisional round 1-10-09 vs. Arizona ... Made NFL debut Dec. 21 at N.Y. Giants ... Started Dec. 28 at New Orleans and posted two tackles and two QB pressures ... One tackle and one QB pressure in playoff game vs. Arizona ... Time on roster was not sufficient for him to gain an accrued year of credit toward free agency.
COLLEGE: Played in 44 games with 39 starts for Wisconsin ... Started 39 consecutive games over has final three seasons ... Totaled 132 tackles, 10.0 sacks, six passes defensed, six fumble recoveries and one forced fumble ... Honorable mention All-Big Ten as a sophomore in 2005, when he led team with 4.5 sacks and led line in tackles (56).
PERSONAL: Hometown is Hartland, Wis. ... Attended Arrowhead High School ... Agricultural journalism major at Wisconsin ... Married (wife Milania) ... Hobbies include video games, hunting and fishing, as well as his two dogs.NOTE ABOUT NFL EXPERIENCE: Hayden did not earn an accrued year of experience toward NFL free agency in 2008 or ’11 because he was not on a 53-player roster, a Reserve/Injured list or a Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list for the required minimum of six games in either year.
The Bengals are hoping to keep a few of their own this season in free agency, like middle backer Rey Maualuga. The model for what they do this March might be what they did three years ago.
Everyone saw it coming, but it still didn’t make it any easier Friday when the Bengals released one of their more versatile players and valued leaders across the defensive front and around the locker room in 11-year veteran Robert Geathers.