The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did what they promised to do at the end of last season: sign competition for kicker Roberto Aguayo. The team went with veteran Nick Folk, according to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports.
Folk hit 87% of his field goals last year, though he did miss two of his 26 extra points. Folk hasn’t dipped below 80% accuracy since 2013, though, and has regularly hit 50+-yard field goals throughout his now eleven-year career. He’s also averaged around 63 yards on kickoffs in the last few years, which is pretty solid.
Folk spent his entire career up to this point with the New York Jets who released him earlier this year. In part because Folk looked a little rough at times last season, coming off a 2015 knee injury, and missed two kicks in a one-point playoff loss.
Still, this is serious competition for Roberto Aguayo, and not just someone who can push him to be better. The Bucs drafted him in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, even trading up to do so, but they cannot have been happy with his rookie play.
Aguayo missed a slew of kicks early on in the season, though he mostly corrected that later on in the season. Still, he managed to hist just 71% of his kicks on the year and didn’t hit a single attempt from beyond 43 yards. He was effective on kickoffs, though his numbers are pretty much identical to Nick Folk’s in that respect.
Even if Aguayo beats out Folk, which is far from a done deal, this signing is another reminder that investing heavily in a kicker is a bad idea: you can generally find solid ones on the open market if you’re just willing to wait a little.