It’s no secret that the Bucs second round kicker has struggled this season. It’s also no secret that there’s been plenty of criticism for bringing him in where they did in the first place.

After starting the year off just 4-for-8, Aguayo went 17-for-20 including knocking in all 12 of his kicks in the previous three games going into Week 17’s season finale against the Panthers. In that game, however, Aguayo was once again unreliable from beyond 40 yards. He connected on a 33-yard field goal early on, but later in the game missed from 46 yards and had a 48-yard field goal blocked in the fourth quarter which would have taken the lead.

Bucs K Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The topic of Aguayo’s success – more importantly, his worth – has been something highly debated between Buccaneer fans. He left Florida State having connected on 96.73 percent of his kicks, which is the best conversion rate of any kicker in college football history. He didn’t miss a kick inside the 40-line and was also perfect on extra points, not missing a single attempt in his collegiate career.

That’s the guy Jason Licht thought he was drafting, a cold-blooded killer with his feet who could knock it in from almost anywhere at any time. But, so far, that’s not what they have.

In his season-exiting press conference on Monday, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter was finally honest with where his shaky second round kicker stands going into the offseason.

“As far as the investment in Roberto and where we picked him, we were all on board with that. That’s not going to change. We’re never going to bring that back. That happened and Roberto was our kicker, and like any other player, if he has that Buc jersey on and he’s out there then I’m 100 percent in,” Koetter began.

“With that said, our field goal percentage of this year is not good enough. Now that’s not the only stat that’s good enough, but that wasn’t good enough. Jason and I have already talked, and I think it’s all ready proven, that we have no problem moving on from a draft choice and playing somebody who wasn’t drafted. Nothing is a given and if they’re not the best player, then I can be pretty certain in saying they wont be out there.”

Koetter was very honest with both himself and the state of the team in his final press conference – as he should be; the best coaches are. And Koetter isn’t saying this is the end of Roberto Aguayo in Tampa Bay quite yet, but if Licht and Koetter are true to what they say, and will make the decisions and moves necessary when they see them, the allotted time for Aguayo to shape up might not be much longer. 

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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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cgmaster27
cgmaster27
5 years ago

Love coaches honesty so much. Its just damn refreshing. At the very least this lights a fire under Roberto and Koetter also said he will be bringing in competition next year. Good for him.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
5 years ago

Good move bringing in competition at kicker I hope Roberto GETS the message!!

Randy H.
Randy H.
5 years ago

This is the first team since the Patriots of 2010 to have no made field goals 45 yds or longer.

Cyrus
Cyrus
5 years ago

Koetter “was finally honest”. Wow. . What was he dishonest about ? How do you know he’s being honest now? You know Koetter well? Interesting claims..

Dude
Dude
5 years ago

Competition is always good. One good thing is Aguayo is still under a rookie contract, so bringing in competition will not be as costly.

Bucnut2
Bucnut2
5 years ago

Unless he kicks his a$$ of in preseason, he should go. I’ve seen enough. Investing TWO high draft picks in this guy was the bone-head move of 2016!

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

I supported the trade up to get him, but I was reminded by my son that the three years he was at FSU he dropped about 5% every year and now that he is an NFL kicker; he dropped another 10%. I don’t think he can take the pressure. Koetter might bring him back to compete unless he signs a known commodity; it’s what i would do. Any thoughts out there?

Jaboo III
Jaboo III
5 years ago

I like the idea to bring in some competition for him. He played a lot better down the stretch and I think an offseason and some competition will do wonders for Aguayo.

vtrantb
vtrantb
5 years ago

I’m tired of debating this issue with Aguyao. I was totally against this draft pick. Drafting him alone negates the good first two picks with Hargraves and Spence. You don’t draft a kicker or punter in the first 4 rounds. They traded two position players for this clown. They could have had Michael Thomas from the Saints as a WR this year. The top ten most kickers of all time were undrafted. Kickers are a dime a dozen. What was wrong with Barth or Bryant? Bryant is going to the Pro Bowl. You cannot trust this guy over 40 yards… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  vtrantb
5 years ago

Uhhh, no, drafting Aguayo does NOT negate the picks of Hargreaves and Spence. One pick has zero relationship to any other pick – every pick stands on its own.

With half of all first round picks busting in the league on average, Jason Licht is doing extremely well with his picks, as well as his other acquisitions that did not involve a draft pick at all – specifically Cameron Brate as a UDFA.

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

Yes it does. It is like exercising and then going home and eating ice cream. Licht wasted a third and 4th round picks for a KICKER. Why? Our roster is so deep that we can afford trading to high draft picks for a kicker.

matador
matador
5 years ago

Let’s be honest – given the myriad needs on our roster at the time of his drafting there is almost no way Roberto could do enough on the field to justify the pick. That’s not his fault and doesn’t mean he can’t be a B/B+ talent in the league for 10+ years. Just that he was misdrafted by a team that couldn’t afford to piss away the picks. A colossal, damning gaffe by Licht. The kind of thing that if repeated earns him, and Roberto, a Fast Pass outta here. Shameful. One more whiff like that and Licht should be… Read more »

Garv
Garv
Reply to  matador
5 years ago

So the next miss in the draft and Jason Licht should be gone…… OMG. Look at the overall draft record so far before making such a stupid statement. PLEASE! It makes Tim Brown look good and I’m no fan of his and his time here. Damn.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  matador
5 years ago

Stop being ridiculous. Jason Licht has one of the best records of draft picking in the league in his three years here. The team is improving, in case you didn’t notice the fact that we had our first winning season since 2010, with a quality core of players drafted on both offense and defense, starting from a ridiculously empty cupboard when Licht arrived on our doorstep, with Lovie Smith dragging him down.

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

I’m not saying that he has not make good draft picks. His FA signings is a totally different story. I’m just saying there is no justification for trading two relatively high draft picks for a kicker when we still have many other needs. What Licht is telling us is that two positional players = Aguayo.

Matthew
Matthew
5 years ago

Could have had Yannick Ngakoue from Jacksonville, he would have been great in pewter and red. So frustrating that not only did we draft a kicker in the 2nd round but he struggled throughout the season. He better turn into a top 5 kicker or at least not last in FG%, ugh. Go Bucs!

GoldsonAges
GoldsonAges
5 years ago

“As far as the investment in Roberto and where we picked him, we were all on board with that.”
I have identified the problem. You DONT – CANT waste 2 mraningful draft picks on a kicker

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Can’t we all stop bemoaning the pick? What’s done is done. Pointless to keep debating the woulda, coulda, shoulda options. We have had a lot more failed high Draft picks than Roberto Aguayo over the past 40 years. Brett Moritz comes to mind.

What I find refreshing is the willingness to move on from # 19 if his woes continue next off-season. It sends a message to the team that one’s Draft position or salary are a non-factor in making the team. Much better for us if Roberto succeeds.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
5 years ago

Competition at every spot on the roster is always good. No reason to assume anybody is totally locked in, unless mediocrity is satisfactory.

As for the CAR game, the blocked kick was not on Aguayo. We had a backup longsnapper and the special teams line of blockers looked overwhelmed. The miss from 46 yards was on Aguayo, of course.

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
5 years ago

It was a terrible pick from the moment we handed in the card. As many have already stated we had far more pressing needs and kicker was not worth that trade. He couldn’t live up to his draft slot which damned him from the start but his performance makes it seem like he should have gone undrafted. Either way cut bait with his terrible pick unless he starts kicking FGs that are beyong 40 yards with any sort of consistency. Bring in Gould this offseason and make the kid earn the job from a veteran!

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

Wow, I had no idea he was last in the NFL. That solves the issue; he has to go.

arizonajoe
arizonajoe
5 years ago

Aguayo positives: Still under rookie contract. Improved during the season. Negatives: Still a mental case to me. I wish he would keep the voodoo he is doing to improve, to himself. Kickers need to be strong mentally and appear strong (even if they hired a witch doctor).

He will never live up to his draft status. Even if he becomes Morton Anderson. This isn’t his fault at all. Everyone knows JL hosed up the pick. Dead horse: beaten.

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
5 years ago

I understand that Roberto had his struggles, but some of you are failing to point out that there were a few games this year that we don’t win without him. I can see all of you in 3-5 yrs calling out the bucs for giving up on Roberto to soon. I guess its easy for you all to bash him now, but what will you say when he t runs out to be the kicker licht knows he can be but on a team like green bay, Pittsburgh, or someone like that? What will you say when we are playing… Read more »

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
5 years ago

I’m of the opinion that we do win those games without him. The week he was special teams player of the week he made 3 chip shots FGs and 1 from 41. Certainly good but definitely not something we couldn’t have gotten from a veteran kicker. Then the Carolina game he technically won but also missed 2 kicks prior that would have eliminated the need for a game winning FG. I don’t think anyone here is saying that Aguayo is a lost cause that can never kick again we are however saying he was not worth a 2nd round pick.… Read more »

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  stlbucsfan
5 years ago

Oh you are? Then where were the tds? Stop disregarding what he did just because you don’t want to admit that he was a major reason we won at least 3 of our 9 wins this year. How am I reaching with those players? They have performed at pro bowl levels since no longer being here. Period. There’s zero argument to that. This is why I never comment on here anymore. Such a narrow minded way of thinking, ..

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
5 years ago

Oh, please stop making an excuse for this kicker. When you are last in the league in FG percentages, it is indefensible. This is not to mention 3 extra points he missed that would have cost us a game if our offense didn’t recover by going for 2 points to make up for it. He is not a major reason we won those games, especially after missing two FGs in the Carolina game so it would have been a moot point for him to kick a 39 yard winning FG. Any average kickers are expected to make FGs under 40… Read more »

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
5 years ago

There is no narrow minded way of thinking you are just wrong. Missing 2 FGs then making the 3rd doesnt make you a hero it means you survived. Talib was voted top defensive back in the league in 2010. Penn was named as a Pro Bowl alternate during his time in Tampa, Blount rushed for 1000 yards. So please let me know what Roberto has done in his 1 season, that was statistically the worst in the NFL, that warrants this comparison? FedEx Special Teams player of the week is neat but lets not get carried away lol.

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  stlbucsfan
5 years ago

No kicking 3 FGs under 40 yards does not warrant FedEx Special Teams player of the week. It is noteworthy when Vinatieri kicked 40 FGs in a row and had a game against the Bears where he went 5/5 and made a 54 yard, 53 yard, 26 yard, 41 yard, and 46 yard. That is worthy of FedEx special team player of the week. And the guy is like 42 years old.