The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently celebrated its second Super Bowl in team history. The Buccaneers had a celebration like never seen before considering all the Covid restrictions. They boarded yachts and other boats to celebrate down the river. This included Gronk dancing, Brady tossing the Lombardi Trophy, and plenty of drinking. When the team finally took to the stage Coach Bruce Arians made it very clear that these players would be going nowhere in free agency.
Tampa Bay spent years looking for a consistent kicker since the days of Martin Gramatica and Matt Bryant. They have hit the free-agent market and even used their draft picks trying to stabilize such an important position. In 2020, the Buccaneers found their guy in veteran kicker Ryan Succop. Tampa Bay will more than likely work a deal out with Succop to continue kicking in 2021 and beyond. He was nearly automatic this past season going 28-31 on field goals, which is a 90% success rate. Could you imagine if the Buccaneers had a kicker that connected on 90% of their kicks during the Jameis Winston Era? They may have been perennial playoff contenders.
Kickers during the Winston Era
2015- Connor Barth (23-28 82%) & Kyle Brindza (6-12 50%)
2016- Roberto Aguayo ( 22-31 71%)
2017- Nick Folk (6-11 55%)
2018- Chandler Catanzaro (16-20 80%) & Cairos Santos (9-12 75%)
2019- Matt Gay (27-35 88%)
These kickers were the model of inconsistency and showed the door for their lack of execution. The missed field goals were just part of it, most of them consistently missed extra points. Former quarterback Jameis Winston led numerous game-winning or game-tying touchdowns, only to see the Buccaneers kickers choke on the extra point or field goal. Now, listen I am not saying the Buccaneers shouldn’t have moved on from Winston because Brady is an organizational transcending player. What I am saying is the Buccaneers need to get a deal done with Ryan Succop. He made several clutch kicks this season and postseason. Succop is arguably just as important as any of the free agents we have brought back this offseason. No fan wants to go back to holding their breath every time special teams trots onto the field to decide a game. FIRE THE CANNONS!