A challenger approaches for Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay

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Matt Gay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Matt Gay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Matt Gay was the starting kicker for the Buccaneers in 2019, but Tampa Bay has recently signed free agent Elliott Fry to up the ante.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jason Licht shocked the NFL world when they again used a draft pick on kicker Matt Gay in the 2019 NFL Draft. The memory of Roberto Aguayo still hung in the minds of the fanbase, and this selection was heavily disliked immediately.

Gay was a great kicker in college, but his previous performances were never the problem with his being drafted. Gay was 85/85 on extra points while in college at Utah and kicked for 86.2% on field goals. Despite these great stats, no team should ever draft a kicker.

Regardless of the decision, the Buccaneers found their kicker, and Gay was the lock to be the starter almost immediately.

During the offseason, the decision looked as though it was going to pay off, and the kicking woes that had plagued Tampa Bay for years had become a thing of the past. Unfortunately, while Gay’s first season had its share of highs, it also had some extreme lows.

Matt Gay was accurate at times, but missed five extra points and saw his college field goal made percent drop down to 77.1%. In addition to these regressions, the most significant moment that will stick in the minds of fans is the game versus the Giants.

With time expiring, Gay missed a chip shot field goal to win the game. While many mistakes put the Bucs in that position to lose, it’s hard to think anything other than how routine that kick should’ve been.

The one thing that was clear by the end of the season was that Tampa Bay had to rectify the problems that were rampant within the kicking game. Matt Gay had the talent to be the starter down the road, but the path to keeping his job has just become that much more difficult.

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