Bucs kicker Pat Murray - Photo by: Getty Images
Although the Bucs didn’t play on Sunday it could turn out to be “Victory Monday” in Tampa Bay for a team that is looking to replace kicker Nick Folk after he missed three field goals in Thursday night’s 19-14 loss to New England. Folk missed seven kicks – five field goals and two extra points – in the Bucs’ first four games.
The kicker he replaced, 2016 second-round draft pick Roberto Aguayo, missed 11 kicks – nine field goals and two extra points – in all 16 games during his rookie season. In an attempt to upgrade the kicker position the Bucs actually took an unexpected step back with the signing of Folk, an 11-year veteran who was cut by the New York Jets in the offseason.
Bucs kicker Nick Folk Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
PewterReport.com has confirmed that there will be six kickers in for tryouts on Monday, including two former Buccaneers in Pat Murray and Mike Nugent. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Josh Lambo, Andrew Franks are trying out today at One Buccaneer Place and that Folk’s job “hangs in the balance.”
It’s hard to imagine that with five kickers trying out for Tampa Bay’s kicking job that Folk won’t be replaced by one of them.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Greg Auman reports that Marshall Koehn, a former kicker in Miami, is also on the list. Koehn, 25, connected on 2-of-3 field goals, including a 58-yarder, and was 5-of-6 on extra points before losing out to NFL veteran Kai Forbath.
Perhaps the most intriguing name on the list is former Kansas City kicker Cairo Santos, who was the Chiefs’ kicker the last four years. He’s made 89-of-105 field goals (84.8 percent) of his career and 125-of-130 extra points (96.2 percent). The Brazilian born Santos connected on 88.6 percent of his field goals last year (31-of-35), including both from 50 yards and beyond, and was 36-of-39 on extra points (92.3 percent).
Santos was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goals and 12-of-12 on extra points in the first three games this season before the Chiefs released him with a groin injury. Santos is expected to be out at least two more weeks and the Bucs are bringing him in for a physical to confirm that.
Murray was Tampa Bay’s kicker in 2014 and hit on 83.3 percent of his kicks (20-of-24), including 5-of-6 from 50 yards and beyond, but an injury in training camp allowed Connor Barth to assume the kicking duties in 2015. Murray signed with Cleveland in 2016 where he was 1-of-2 before another injury cost him the rest of the season.
Nugent was a high-priced signing in 2009 after a four-year run with the New York Jets. But Nugent, who replaced veteran Bucs kicker Matt Bryant, only lasted four games as he went 2-of-6 (33.3 percent) on field goals. Nugent landed in Cincinnati in 2010 where he hit 80 percent or better in four out of six seasons. He was released after the 2016 season after connecting on 79.3 percent (23-of-29) of his field goals last year and an identical 79.3 percent (23-of-29) percent of his extra points.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR’s Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons’ Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
I know so people won’t agree with this,but why not bring Roberto in for a look.
He has been cut by 2 teams know. I would think he has learned from it.
I never thought I would say this but he was better than Folk and he would like to redeem himself. The Bucs might get the kicker that they thought he would be.
You must be a true lifetime Bucs fan like myself who has watched multiple QB’s get released and then go to another team and win Super Bowls. It is hard to believe that this guy could go from the most accurate kicker in NCAA history to the worst in the NFL. Although he might just not be able to handle the pressure of the NFL spotlight. So even though I understand your thinking I don’t think it is worth the media attention he would create if they brought him back
Sorry, Buc 1976 – Aguayo has already failed, I cannot imagine Licht and Koetter agreeing to do that, they would lose all credibility.
Credibility ? Just win BABY!!
too much baggage with aguayo. one miss could start a tailspin for both the kicker, the team, and especially the fans. you need someone that everyone can have a bit of a clean slate with. Murray has no bad history here, santos is an extremely reliable guy capable of being a long term answer and is on the streets mainly due to timing. nugent and Lambo are both available because they didn’t do their jobs well enough, they might be better than going back to folk but not better than some of the other options they are working on
might be worth burning a roster spot on Santos for a couple weeks while he heals, he might have been KC’s kicker for the next 5 years if they didn’t need to have such a short term focus to maximize their chance at a Superbowl
I thought he did very well here before. He has a Smooth compact swing.
Hope Cairo sticks!
Sign Cairo now, sign one of the other kickers for a 2-3 week tryout, and if he does great, keep him and if not, then let Cairo. have a shot after he’s healthy. In any case, Folk is done in Tampa.
seems like he did nothing to lose his job besides getting hurt at the wrong time for a team with extreme urgency to win home field advantage. could be the multi-year answer they wanted aguayo to be. after investing so much in aguayo to be rid of this kicker carousel, it could be worth demoting a peyton barber for a few weeks to potentially have your long term kicker afterwards
Sign 2 or 3, whatever it takes.
Santos is the longterm solution
The way I see it is you changed the point after distance, shortened the kickoff field to create fewer runbacks and as a result altered the traditional kicker profile. Aquayo came into the league and couldn’t adjust, not to mention the pressure we put on him taking him in the 2nd round. Folk is an old-timer who can’t adapt to a new system. It seems when you keep 2 they focus on the competition soooooo, I would 1) find a UDFA who doesn’t have to worry about his reputation, 2) get a youngster that is not affected by rule changes, and 3) keep two on the roster to focus on competition. This position produces points and unfortunately we have lost an important game already this year and a bid for the playoffs last year. This is a priority and unlike past years must be addressed like a RB, or WR.
Bring back Patrick Murray! He’s got the leg, accuracy, and definitely has the proper ‘kicker’s mentality’
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