By: Aaron Shariq
On Sunday, the Bears claimed kicker Roberto Aguayo off waivers following his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aguayo made headlines last season when the Buccaneers took him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Aguayo was the most accurate kicker in NCAA history converting on 69 of his 78 field-goal attempts and all 198 of his extra point attempts. Aguayo has only played one year in the NFL but it was an underwhelming one which the rookie only held a 71% conversion rate. After a missed field goal and extra point in the Buccaneers preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals of Friday, the Buccs had enough and released the 23-year-old.
Aguayo undoubtedly has the talent to be a solid NFL kicker. He proved that while at Florida State where he was a three-time All-American and the winner on the Lou Groza Award for the best placekicker in college football for the 2013 season. What’s left to see is if Aguayo could shake the mental hurtles of being selected high in the draft and the weight of a disappointing rookie season. If Aguayo can return to his college form, he could take the job from Connor Barth for the second straight year, if not he will find himself on the losing end of the same battle.