After a rookie season durign which he went a league-worst 22 of 31 on field goals, Tampa Bay management responded over the weekend by signing former Jets kicker Nick Folk as training camp competition. General manager Jason Licht was blunt in his assessment, via an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.
"Read the stats, he wasn't very good last year," Licht said. "He wants to improve and he's going to work at it. And we still have confidence in him but you're always trying to get better."
How many times have we seen NFL coaches and executives sink themselves in order to prove a point? While this mostly comes about at the quarterback position or some other high-profile defensive spot, Licht made waves by making Aguayo one of the highest-drafted kickers in NFL history. This will be rightfully looked at as Licht saying my bad. Folk, the most accurate kicker in Jets history, is more than just your typical training camp leg. Plus, Aguayo ranked last in NFL field-goal percentage (22 of 31, 71 percent) among the 35 kickers with three or more attempts last season, per NFL Research.
Now, Aguayo faces an uphill battle for a spot that, many assumed, would be his for the better part of a decade. Unfortunately, this will not be a Sebastian Janikowski situation for Tampa Bay, but they are giving themselves a solid exit strategy.