The Buccaneers need their special teams to be both great and cost-effective in 2022. That may require cutting veteran Ryan Succop.
This is going to shock some Buccaneers fans, but Ryan Succop, the best kicker in Tampa in quite some time, is not a lock to make the roster for the 2022 season.
Fans rightfully love the veteran kicker. Kicking has been such a sore spot on the team for a long time now. The years of missed kicks and heartbreaks late in games came to a close under Succop, and the resulting success was easy to recognize.
The Bucs had finally fixed their problem. The only issue is that this was never going to be a permanent fix.
Succop is currently 35 years old, turning 36 in two months. Kickers have a way of being able to maintain longer carers than some other positions if they take the proper steps to protect their bodies, but 36 does start to pose some questions.
Can Succop actually maintain the kicking successes that got him paid and helped the Buccaneers win in 2020? The answer to that is unclear.
Succop was far from a bad kicker in 2021 (83.3% on field goals and 94.9% on extra points), but this is a drop-off from 2020 (90.3% on field goals and 91.2% on extra points).
The Buccaneers rewarded their kicker with a nice deal after one of the best seasons of his career, but what they got in the next season was not what they expected. The standards change when the money is involved, and Tampa could see a change at their kicker position with some similarities to what happened with their punter.
Jake Camarda was younger, cheaper, and projects to replicate or surpass Bradley Pinion’s most recent season at punter. Jose Borregales could be the same thing at kicker.
Borregales put a bit of pressure on Succop last season as he looked like the better kicker in camp a bit too often, but Succop’s veteran status and familiarity worked in his favor. However, these things only work for so long. Teams eventually have to move on, and the Bucs could see betting on Borregales as the safer option in the short term and for the future.
With a desire to win now and a need to make every dollar count, the Buccaneers are going to watch Ryan Succop closely. Every practice that Borregales wins is going to make Succop’s future on the team a little less certain.
The coming weeks are going to be very telling for the Super Bowl champion kicker for the Bucs. He is going to need to play very well to keep his spot going forward.
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