Bucs finally kick Aguayo to the curb

by Gary Shelton on August 12, 2017 · 0 comments

in general


Aguayo didn't last long with the  Bucs../CARMEN MANDATO

Aguayo didn't last long with the Bucs../CARMEN MANDATO

Updated, 6:15 p.m.

Goodnight, Roberto.

You've been booted.

The Tampa Bay Bucs finally threw their hands up over scatter-footed kicker Roberto Aguayo Saturday morning, only hours after he missed another extra point and another field goal in a 23-12 exhibition loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Anytime you have to let a draft pick go, it’s not something that you look forward to doing, but it’s a production business," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "We’ve been saying it — it’s unfortunate because Roberto is a good kid. He is trying to do the right thing, but again, it’s a production business. I’m sure he’ll get another opportunity and he’s just got to learn from this and move on. This allows us as a team to get behind Nick (Folk). There’s pressure even in that. It will allow us, as a team, to support Nick and move forward.”

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Aguayo leaves the Bucs as a disappointment./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Aguayo will go down with the most flaming failures in team history. The team traded up into the second round to draft Aguayo, who lasted all of 16 games ... and was lucky to hang around that long. Aguayo quickly turned into the worst kicker in the NFL. He missed nine of 31 field goals and two of 24 extra points.

Worst was the trust factor. By the end, no one expected an Aguayo kick to be successful.

After Saturday night, who can argue that it wasn't time for the Bucs to move on? Can you envision him with a 45-yarder to win a game that would get the Bucs into the playoffs. It's enough to make a fan shudder. A general manager, too.

That leaves the Bucs' kicking up to Nick Folk, a free agent signed in the off-season.

"We are going to bring in another kicker because we want to have another leg in camp," Koetter said. "Anything can happen — a guy could pull a hamstring, twist an ankle. As long as we have room, we would like to have another guy that can kick the football. As of right now, Nick is going to be our kicker.”

Who knows what got into Aguayo's head? It wasn't talent; he had that.

Here's a thought. Perhaps things went too well for Aguayo in college. He never had to deal with his shaken confidence. He never had to deal with doubt. He never had to worry about the pressures of his job. Once trouble came in Tampa Bay, he couldn't handle it.

He didn't have distance, and he didn't have accuracy. Now, he doesn't have a job.

This summer, Aguayo had strived to show that he had a fresh canvas. But he was bad again against the Bengals, leaving the team with little choice. Aguayo will be remembered as one of the worst placekickers in team history, alongside Bill Capece (“Capece is kaput” and Peter Rajecki (“Tell Mr. Rajecki I plan to attend all of the games.”)

Aguayo was one of the best kickers in college football, a prize the Bucs felt they had to have. With rumors that another team might take him, the Bucs traded into the second round to get him. They envisioned great things.

Instead, Aguayo will be remembered alongside Booker Reese, Dexter Jackson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Eric Curry, Keith McCants, Charles McRae, Brett Moritz and the rest of the flops the team has selected.

For Aguayo, it was time.

"What would it have hurt (to continue)?" Koetter said. " I don’t think it would necessarily have hurt anything other than I think just at some point the team wants to move forward — the team wants to move on. At any position, you just hope it plays itself out and there’s a clear-cut winner. Jason (Licht) and I – we’ve been talking about this since last year — we’ve been talking about this for a long time. I think just in general it’s time to make a move on from Roberto. Let him have a chance with another team and we’re confident in Nick.

"The thing that has haunted Roberto in his time here is just inconsistency. The teams I’ve been on – you just don’t have to have that at that position. There’s enough other guys. Once again, it’s unfortunate. This doesn’t make Roberto a bad guy. He’s a terrific guy and we wish him the best. But at this point, we’re moving forward with Nick  and are happy about it.”

I'm sure a lot of fans are happy, too. They had simply run out of patience with Aguayo. Yes, he'll join the kicking caravan, and he'll latch on somewhere. Someday, he might even beat the Bucs on a late field goal.

But no one can doubt this decision.

Aguayo's time was up.

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