Bucs K Roberto Aguayo - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said Monday all options will be on the table in regard to Roberto Aguayo’s future as the team’s kicker next season.
On Wednesday, the organization supported that statement by signing a kicker to a futures contract. Rookie John Lunsford, a native of Fort Myers, spent this season with the San Francisco 49ers but was never active for a game after preseason.
Also signed to a futures contract Wednesday was tight end Kivon Cartwright. The rookie out of Colorado State was with the Bucs at times this season and played in all four preseason games.
Futures contracts don’t actually go into effect until the first day of the new league year on March 9.
Lunsford kicked at Liberty University in Virginia, which competes in Division I-FCS’s Big South Conference, went undrafted this past spring. Aguayo was selected in the second round when the Bucs traded up to take him 59th overall.
Aguayo’s troubles started in the preseason and continued throughout much of the year. His 71-percent success rate on field goals (22 of 31) ranked him dead last among qualified place kickers, far from the dependability expected from a second-round pick. Aguayo did get back on track with his extra point kicking, making his last 19 in a row after missing two of his first 15 attempts.
Complaints weren’t limited to his accuracy, either. Aguayo’s leg strength came into question as Koetter rarely sent him out to try lengthy kicks. He attempted just one field goal from 50-plus yards – and missed it. From 40-49 yards, Aguayo was only 4 of 10, and his season-long kick was a 43-yarder he converted Week 1 in Atlanta.
Even with those rough numbers, it’s unlikely that Lunsford will unseat Aguayo. The move does reinforce the notion, however, that Aguayo’s high draft selection doesn’t shield him from competition.
Lunsford didn’t exactly post eye-popping numbers while kicking at Liberty. He converted just over half of his field goal attempts (13 of 24) as a senior in 2015. His collegiate claim-to-fame came in 2014 when he sent a game into overtime by drilling a 60-yarder. Lunsford also has a couple YouTube videos up of him hitting from 70-plus yards in practice situations.
Just one proven kicker away from signing and it’s all over for the young man.
“See?” said Licht. “SEE?!!?”
“This guy is even worse…” mused Dirk Koetter.
“Who cares?!!” laughed the GM. “Competition!! You wanted it!!! You got it!!! I’m off to draft another tackle!”
Oh great move Licht. Bringing in a kicker that went 13/24? Is this supposed to be (fake) competition for Aguayo. When will this GM learn how to evaluate kicker? He brought in Brindza which was a 50% career FG kicker at ND. Do they magically get better in the pros when there are more pressure than in college since most games come down to 3 points?
You don’t seriously believe that one player signed to a futures contract is the entire plan to bring in competition, do you?
I expect that we’ll end up trying out at least half a dozen or more kickers before the pre-season games begin … free agents, UDFAs, and perhaps Day 3 draft picks.
Don’t know with this GM. Why would you even consider this guy anyway? He already has a bad track record in college. Why not bring in Barth or Gould to provide real competition?
We all better pray that Berto figured it out over the last half of the season, and somehow finds his range again this offseason. I know a lot of fans want him gone, but just think about what that would mean. Not only a wasted 2nd round pick, but also what equates to 2 wasted picks since we used an extra 4th to move up. Berto has to be better, but I can’t understand the rush to get rid of him. He directly had a major role in wining the Panthers, Chiefs, & Saints games. The only game his misses cost us was the Rams game. If he loses the job in training camp, so be it. But, y’all should be hoping he wins it and becomes a kicking legend.
A lot of rookie kickers struggle. That’s why they often bounce around for a few years before settling in. I suspect Roberto is on a much shorter leash entering Training Camp. I wonder if Billy Capece is still kaput.
Roberto needs to find his grove before next Season!
Actually Aguayo’s ATL kick was 43 yards, not 46 yards, but still his longest of the season. This led to the Bucs’ being the first team since the 2010 Patriots to not have a field goal of 45 yards or longer.
Hate to say it again, but what was wrong with Connor Barth that Bucs keep on cutting him. His deal with the Bears just ended.
Nothing wrong with Barth. Nothing wrong with Bryant either. He is headed to the pro bowl. I don’t get it. If we were so desperate for a kicker, why didn’t we propose to trade our #2 pick to the Patriots for Gostkowski or to Dallas for Bailey? You don’t think Belicheck or Jones would take that in an instant?
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