After a struggling year from first-year kicker Roberto Aguayo, Bucs general manager, Jason Licht, said competition will be brought in to make sure they’re getting the best roster they can.

Late Friday night, that promise was kept as the team signed veteran kicker Nick Folk.

Following the Buccaneers trading up in the second round to select him, Aguayo was one of the league’s worst kickers in 2016 statistically. He made just 22 of 31 field goals (71 percent) which was the lowest percentage in the NFL, and, from distance, he only made four field goals from 40 to 49 yards.

Folk, on the other hand, has a knack for hitting beyond 40 yards. He spent the past seven seasons with the Jets before he was cut last month. He was 27-for-31 (87.1 percent) overall, and his longest kick was from 51 yards. He also went 3-for-3 on field goals from 40 to 49 yards which was tied for best in the league, and was 2-for-4 on kicks from beyond 50 yards.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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BucWild02
BucWild02
5 years ago

I like the bold move by the Bucs to let the world know, no position is safe due to draft pedigree. Earn it.

Bucnut2
Bucnut2
Reply to  BucWild02
5 years ago

We actually traded UP to get this stiff which PR defended. Guys sorry you were just wrong. I like and respect Licht but drafting RA was a HUGE mistake. Lets’ take off our Garnett colored glasses. Everyone that comes out of FSU is NOT a great NFL prospect.

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
Reply to  Bucnut2
5 years ago

You either hate Jameis and FSU or your hate for Jameis is so great, it bleeds over into bashing FSU players. Newsflash, Berto wasn’t drafted because there is some FSU conspiracy within the Bucs front office. It was a bad pick, but not because he went to FSU. Licht made a mistake. Pipe down.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  RootsCrew
5 years ago

Actually, Roots, the Aguayo pick isn’t officially a “bad pick” yet. It was a pick that didn’t deliver expected value in its first season, that is clearly true. If Aguayo picks up his game, wins the competition against Folk in pre-season, and then goes on to have a better than average career thereafter, it will turn into a “good pick”. On the other hand, if Aguayo flames out in the competition against Folk in pre-season, and then gets cut, it will have been proven a “bad pick”. Right now, the Aguayo pick is not good, but final score to be… Read more »

devasher
devasher
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

It’s not “officially” a bad pick yet, however, Agauyo was the worst kicker in the NFL. Licht traded two premium draft picks so that he could put the worst kicker in the NFL on his team for 2016. No amount of Scott Reynolds rationalization and mortar kick articles will take that fact back. If Aguayo manages to legitimately beat out Nick Folk to start his second year with the Bucs it will be more improbable than the Bad News Bears or Mighty Ducks turning things around. And as an FSU alum, Licht’s stupid evaluation has nothing to do with what… Read more »

David DeLeon
David DeLeon
5 years ago

May the best roster be on the field well one.

David DeLeon
David DeLeon
5 years ago

Week one

Iowabucfan
Iowabucfan
5 years ago

As Sheriff Buford T. Justice once said, “That, is an attention getter”.

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

Hard to say what happens, but I thought they should moved sooner. Didnt like Aguayo pick. For sure didn’t like his kicking last year. If I had to guess Aguayo will continue to struggle this season and be replaced at some point.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
5 years ago

Good to have competition for the kicker job … it used to be that we had multiple kickers trying out for the job just about every season, if for no other reason than to have a good backup, or to replace someone who wasn’t getting it done any longer.

Has anybody heard why exactly the Jets cut Folk? I haven’t seen an explanation yet.

macabee
macabee
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

Naples, Two things! First, the Jets are in serious rebuild mode and in need of cap space. When the team released the 32-year old, the move freed up $3 million in salary cap space. At the time, the Jets were at $7.911 million under the projected team cap of $168 million, per OTC and as a result of a series of similar cuts now sit at 24.1mil under the cap. Second, Folk has been on a bit of a decline the last two seasons. In Week 8 of 2015, he suffered a season-ending quad injury during warmups against the Jaguars.… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Thanks, Mac … shoulda known you’d have the lay of the land on this deal!

matador
matador
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

Why is it that we have to rely on posters for insights like this, and the list of duds with the fastest combine speeds provided by another poster, instead of PR? It smells like an unwillingness or inability to think critically about information and situations.

Combined with things lke using the bully pulpit yet again, this time on juvenile taunting about the offensive line – which once again COMPLETELY misses the point BTW – makes it impossible for me to give PR the respect it so clearly craves.

Thank goodness for the insightful posts of many fellow members.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
5 years ago

Big upgrade.

For a team struggling in the red zone this is big pick up.

nitey
nitey
5 years ago

Never liked the use of the picks (not the player) but really hate to see a draft choice fail. I’m hoping that this will help Aquayo and that he wins the job so it doesn’t seem like the picks were wasted and we get a kicker that can kick for us for years. But if he struggles again, then so be it, we go with Folk and hopefully have a good year.

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
5 years ago

We can all lament the pick of Berto, but it won’t change anything. We all know it was a terrible pick. I like that Licht is sending a message to his team, produce or someone else will. Berto can be a great kicker, but he has to get it together. Foles will push him to step up or get fired.

wnb0395
wnb0395
Reply to  RootsCrew
5 years ago

Didn’t foles sign with the eagles? How would a QB push a kicker to step up?

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
Reply to  wnb0395
5 years ago

Good call. I meant Folk. Think my pone autocorrected.

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

It’s all in Aguayo’s head and I’m not sure he can handle the pressure. Some kickers just can’t handle the pressure; he may be one of them. Go Bucs!

e
e
5 years ago

I know it’s not the popular thing, but I’m rooting for Aguayo and I hope that the competition brings out the best in his game. I do think that whether the Bucs cut him or not, that he will end up with a long career in the NFL, I personally hope that it’s with the Bucs.

Iowabucfan
Iowabucfan
Reply to  e
5 years ago

Me, too!

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  e
5 years ago

e – You’re right … it’s never a good thing to root against any player, especially one of our Bucs. Too many fans try to turn their commentary into a good guy/bad guy thing, rooting for some and against others. They’re all trying to succeed, and sometimes they have obstacles to overcome (injury, off the field stuff). It’s an extremely tough business, my hats off to all of them.

thewbacca
thewbacca
5 years ago

John McKay once cut one of his kickers, Pete Rajecki, because Rakecki said that he was nervous to kick in front of McKay during practice. McKay’s response to me media, “I plan to attend all the games.”

Have to wonder if Aguayo has a little Rajecki in him. Glad that he will have to kick under pressure during camp. Better to flesh this out in the summer then deal with it in the fall.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  thewbacca
5 years ago

I remember that one well thewbacca, but my favorite was when Billy Capece cost us the 1983 Packers game then Capece cost us the Lions game a week later. McKay brought in offensive guard George Yarno to kick the extra point and announced “Capece is caput”. I for one hope Roberto does the things he needs to do to become the kicker Licht thought we were getting when he boldly made the selection. While I was surprised by the move, having seen Roberto calmly nail kicks at FSU, I thought he just might have a greater long term impact than… Read more »

vtrantb
vtrantb
5 years ago

I don’t even see PR defending this pick anymore. Like I said before, we could have sent a 2nd round pick to the Cowboys for an established kicker instead of drafting an unproven kicker. Kicking in the NFL (e.g. K-Ball) is a lot different than college. Most games are decided by 3 points. When he was kicking at FSU, they were ahead big most of the time, so there was virtually no pressure..

magoobee
magoobee
5 years ago

I hope Licht has learned to stop being cute with draft picks. Stop trading up and losing draft picks. Stop thinking the player you want, other teams will select before you. Let the draft come to you. Trade down at times and collect picks for this year or next. Don’t pick special need players (FB, K, P, KR, PR) – focus on the core positions.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  magoobee
5 years ago

Uhhh …. Licht DID trade down, on his first rounder (VHIII) and used the extra pick he gained from that trade to move up from early in the third to late in the second to get Aguayo.

surferdudes
5 years ago

Folk was brought in for competition no doubt, but I believe there’s an alternative motive. Folk is a seasoned vet, he’s someone Berto can learn from. We could’ve brought in a younger leg, but this signing is two fold. Competition, and a guy who can show the kid how pro kickers need to approach the game.

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

Scubog I agree on Bryant. Never should been cut. Also be nice to have Michael Bennett here still….lol.

As far as guys here saying Folk is in decline… maybe, but I’ll take his 87% over Aguayo 71% any day Lol.

Aguayo is a head case. He can’t take pressure and that is death sentence for a FG kicker that has games placed in their hands at the end frequently. Similar to golf. I play. It’s a mental game. Lose confidence or allow distractions and your dead.

Garv
Garv
5 years ago

Legitimate competition. A good thing. Either Roberto handles it and wins the job or he doesn’t. Either way, the Buccaneers improved themselves at the position. BTW, Folk is 32 years old. Hardly in decline for a kicker.

This another good signing for Jason Licht this winter.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
5 years ago

The move up was a good move, But we needed PLAYERS not a kicker. Conner Barth had a good year. With that pick we could have gotten A WR such as Shepherd who went to NY Giants or a safety. Worst use of a pick since Booker!

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

I was ambivalent about the pick of Aguayo although I hoped he would turn into a steady kicker like Janikowski of the Raiders. Who knows, he still might. But I never did like the idea of spending a No. 2 on the kid when the team had much greater needs. Still, if he starts nailing FG’s like Janikowski, all of this negative hubbub will cease. Kickers mentality and skill set is much like golfers. I have stood over golf shots I felt great about and nailed them and then I have stood over some shots I didn’t feel so confident… Read more »

vtrantb
vtrantb
5 years ago

I have just leave it at Michael Thomas or Roberto Aguayo. I thought they were moving up for a WR.