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Roberto Aguayo's (Kind of) Return to the NFL

In this weekend's Hot Clicks: The second-round kicker is getting a second chance, the Nets are looking good and more.

Second Chance for the Second-Round Kicker

Connor Barth and Kyle Brindza combined to hit 29 of 40 field-goal attempts (and 31 of 34 PAT attempts) during the Buccaneers’ six-win 2015 season. Barth was set to return in 2016 after the Bucs didn’t sign another kicker in free agency.

On April 29, 2016, during the second round of the NFL Draft, the Bucs, who selected Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves with the 11th overall pick a day earlier and Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence with the 39th pick a couple of hours earlier, traded back into the second round. Their target: Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo. Their price: 74th pick and 106th pick.

Aug 11, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks a field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports

Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks a field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on Aug. 11, 2017

The Bucs’ kicking game wasn’t good in 2015 but it wasn’t that bad. And Barth wasn’t a stooge off the street without NFL experience; he connected on nearly 90% of his field-goal attempts with the Bucs from 2010-12 and didn’t miss a PAT. That history, and an adequate 23-for-28 performance in 12 games in 2015, was that bad for a downtrodden franchise willing to use a second-round pick on a kicker.

It didn’t work.

Aquayo finished the 2016 season with the worst field-goal percentage among all NFL kickers, hitting only 22 of 31 attempts, and hasn’t attempted an NFL kick since. He was released in August 2017 and bounced around practice squad and offseason rosters from 2017-19.

“I know I can get back," Aguayo told Bleacher Report in 2019, a year in which he spent zero days with an NFL team. "People are probably like: 'Oh, he's done. He can't do it anymore.' No. I did it at a high level in college. I never got a chance to show it again. I know I can. I'm hitting the ball well now. At the end of the day, it's a matter of opportunity."

He’s getting another chance...kind of. The Patriots’ signed Aguayo to the practice squad, though with Nick Folk on the active roster and Justin Rohrwasser already on the practice squad, one of the worst draft picks in NFL history is a long way from getting another attempt.

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NBA Roundup

“Things can still go wrong, Brooklyn.”

Well said, Chris Mannix. But, for now, life is good for the Brooklyn Nets two games into an NBA season in which they’re attempting to advance beyond the conference semifinals for the first time since 2003. The Nets are 2-0, rising in NBA Finals odds, and have a superstar pairing in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. In their Christmas Day win over the Celtics, Durant and Irving played all of their respective 33 minutes together, recording a staggering +28 in those minutes.

Elsewhere in NBA news: Kawhi Leonard was a bloody mess after friendly fire in the Clippers’ win over the Nuggets … Richard Jefferson loves Bam Adebayo’s free-throw percentage … Montrezl Harrell executed the perfect somersault … Steph Curry blasted his team’s IQ after another loss … Adam Silver said NBA expansion is inevitable, and Seattle has “enormous support."

Odds & Ends

Iowa was shocked by Minnesota in overtime on Friday night … The NFL denied the Lions’ request to move their Week 16 game … Wisconsin’s basketball team is crazy old … Potential replacements for Bryan Harsin as Boise State head coach … Best memes of 2020 … NFL Mock Draft: Four QBs taken in top five … Duke women’s basketball is canceling the remainder of their season … Shocking: Highly drafted QBs rarely transform bad teams … Where do the Patriots go from here?

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