A year after being selected in the second round, Aguayo's facing an uphill battle to make the Bucs roster.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers raised eyebrows when they selected kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. It was the earliest a kicker had been taken since Mike Nugent went 47th in 2005, and it's certainly unorthodox to take a specialist that early. But there was definite upside; if you can lock up a trusty kicker, he can be a real asset and stay on your roster for more than a decade (see Tucker, Justin or Gostkowski, Stephen).
The unfortunate reality is that the pick is looking increasingly like a massive failure, because Robert Aguayo just doesn't make his kicks. Last season, he went 4-10 on kicks between 40 and 49 yards and missed his only attempt from 50+. On Friday night, he continued his struggles by missing two kicks in the Bucs' preseason opener, including an extra point. He then tried to spin it by saying both kicks felt good off his foot, which doesn't really count for much when you consider that both missed.
The full quote:
“Honestly, the [extra point] felt good,’’ Aguayo told the Tampa Bay Times. “When I caught it, I knew I pushed it a little bit and I was like, ‘hopefully it will stay in,’ but it hit the upright. Unlucky. And the last one, I was trying to get a good hit on it. I hit it good and it just started to fade. Not what you want. Not what I wanted. Obviously, not up to the standards that I want. You just have to keep your head up and move onto the next day. You wanted to come out and be perfect. I did some good things. I hit some good kickoffs. I had a field goal in there but at the end of the day, it wasn’t what I wanted. I’ve just got to put it in the past. It’s a new day.’’
You can't fault the guy's positivity, and you don't get selected in the second round as a kicker without having a ton of talent. But Aguayo's now facing an uphill battle to make the roster—the Bucs' other kicker, Nick Folk, knocked in his only kick of the night, a 45-yarder.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is getting fed up with Aguayo's misses.
“You know, I keep saying it, I can’t say it anymore," Koetter said. "If you’re a kicker, you’ve got to make your kicks.”
I couldn't have said it better myself, Dirk. The Bucs took a big risk on Aguayo, and they stuck with him all last season. But in the NFL, it doesn't matter who you are. The Colts released Peyton F'ing Manning and the Vikings declined an option to retain Adrian Peterson. If you can't perform, you're going to get cut.