The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were disappointed in Roberto Aguayo’s first season, to say the least. The second-round pick was inaccurate early in the season, missing several chip shots, and remained inaccurate from long distances even late in the season.
That’s why the Bucs brought in veteran Nick Folk. They needed someone to push Aguayo, and perhaps overtake him if the highest-drafted kicker in team history couldn’t correct his problems. And when Aguayo struggled in the first reported practice, it seemed like he was doomed.
Since then, though, Aguayo has held his own against Nick Folk. No clear losses have been reported, and in minicamp he performed slightly better than Folk did. The same has held true in training camp so far, with both kickers hitting four of their five kicks this past weekend, per Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter.
If that continues, we can safely assume Aguayo will keep his job. The Bucs have more invested in him, and he’s better at kickoffs than Folk is. If it’s even a little close, the Bucs will cut Folk and keep Aguayo.
The real test will start next week, though, when both kickers will have to trot out for kicks in the preseason. That’s when Aguayo really struggled last year, and if he cracks under the pressure again it’ll be hard for Jason Licht to justify hanging on to his prized draft choice.
For now, things look good for Aguayo. But that can change quickly.