Buccaneers release Rodrigo Blankenship after rough game vs. Jets

The former Georgia Bulldogs fan favorite lasted only a few months with the Bucs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

The first real competition of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp is over.

While we all await word on what will happen with the quarterback situation, the coaching staff has made a ruling in the battle to see who will be the team's starting kicker this year. Chase McLaughlin will be the guy lining up when Week 1 rolls around, as the Bucs announced on Monday that Rodrigo Blankenship had been released.

It's hardly a surprising move, but it's nevertheless a bummer. There was hope that Blankenship -- a fan favorite during his college career at Georgia -- could revive his career in Tampa Bay.

After showing a little promise at minicamp, Blankenship's brief tenure with the Bucs ends after a 1-for-3 performance on Saturday against the New York Jets.

Buccaneers release kicker Rodrigo Blankenship

Blankenship signed with the Bucs after impressing the coaching staff during a tryout back at minicamp in May. It was the kicker's third team in a year after spending unsuccessful time with both the Colts and Cardinals.

Ironically, McLaughlin is replacing Blankenship for the second time after he did so in Indianapolis last year.

The writing was on the wall for Blankenship after his performance on Saturday. He made a 35-yard field goal but crucially missed a 55-yard kick. Blankenship also missed from 32-yards -- which didn't help -- but his long range misfire probably sealed the deal for him.

One thing the Bucs used as a reason to move on from Ryan Succop, in addition to the money the team would save, was his unreliability from long distance. That was one thing that Blankenship could have used as a potential trump card in the kicking competition with McLaughlin, but his big leg failed him when it mattered most.

The Bucs still have two weeks to trim down the roster before Week 1, but kicker won't be one of the decisions they'll have to make.

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