Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs vs. Roberto Aguayo? Bears pick up cut kicker

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) smiles while taking questions from reporters during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) smiles while taking questions from reporters during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

TAMPA — One day after the Bucs parted ways with former second-round pick Roberto Aguayo, Tampa Bay fans had another twist to ponder on Sunday: Aguayo kicking against the Bucs? In Week 2, at Raymond James Stadium?

Aguayo, the former All-American at Florida State, was claimed off waivers by the Bears, where —- in another wrinkle — he'll compete with veteran Connor Barth, who was cut by the Bucs last year after they drafted Aguayo.

The move does have some financial benefit for the Bucs — by claiming Aguayo, the Bears are assuming his rookie contract, which means the Bucs are off the hook for what was $428,000 in guaranteed 2017 base salary for Aguayo. The Bears are now responsible for that, whether he makes the team or not, an investment that suggests he'll have a real chance to challenge Barth for Chicago's kicking job.

The Bucs and Bears have had plenty of reunion drama in recent years, with then-Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith coaching against and losing to his old team in 2014 and 2015, and safety Chris Conte getting a pick-six against his former team in last year's 36-10 Bucs win. The upcoming game on Sept. 17 should also likely feature former Bucs backup quarterback Mike Glennon, who signed a three-year, $43.5-million deal with the Bears, going up against his old team.

The Bucs had their own Aguayo aftermath Sunday, adding another kicker to challenge Nick Folk during training camp when they signed former Saints and Rams kicker Zach Hocker.

Hocker, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Redskins in 2014 but never played for Washington. He kicked for the Saints and Rams in 2015, going 10-for-14 on field goals with a long of 51 yards and 12-of-13 on extra points. He was in camp with the Bengals last year but was among their final cuts.

Folk, with $750,000 guaranteed on his contract, is now a strong favorite to be the Bucs' kicker for 2017. Aguayo was cut after missing an extra point and field goal in Friday's preseason opener. By adding Hocker, the Bucs can split reps in practice and keep competition in the preseason with Folk.

Hocker has played in the Tampa Bay area before. After his college career at Arkansas, he played in the 2014 East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, hitting three field goals, including a 56-yarder. He faced the Bucs once with the Saints in 2015, missing an extra point and a 42-yard field goal in a 26-19 Bucs victory.

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs vs. Roberto Aguayo? Bears pick up cut kicker 08/13/17 [Last modified: Sunday, August 13, 2017 7:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity


    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.
  2. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says players who kneel have team's support


    TAMPA — Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the only Bucs players kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Vikings, but DT Gerald McCoy said the team supports their protest "100 percent."

    Bucs tight end Cameron Brate pulls in a touchdown catch as Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (34) hits him in the back of the head.
  3. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now


    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  5. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-name prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times