Roberto Aguayo

XFL Notes: Robinson, Cook, Aguayo, Cobb, Gray, Broyles, Boyer, Locke, Novak, Ollie

The relaunched XFL is gearing up for its first season, and they’re starting to announce more and more of their initial player pool. There are a lot of ex-NFL guys in the mix, and we’ll get to that in just a bit, but at least one notable college player is looking to jump right in. Former West Virginia safety Kenny Robinson is entering the XFL draft pool, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. Robinson was dismissed from West Virginia for academic fraud earlier this year. Florio writes that he was “considered a likely draft choice,” but hadn’t been in school long enough to be eligible for the NFL, which requires you to be three years removed from high school graduation.

That left Robinson with the options of looking for a new school to play at, or entering an alternative pro league. “Now they can see how I hold up mentally and physically,” Robinson told Andy Staples of The Athletic. “They’ll see me playing against guys who have actually been in the NFL and done it.” Robinson will be an early test case for what the XFL is hoping more players opt to do. Ever since they announced they were coming back, the XFL has attempted to position itself as a league for talented high school and college players to consider as an alternative to the NCAA. As Florio notes, Robinson will be eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. In 12 games for the Mountaineers last year he had 77 tackles and four interceptions, earning a first-team All-Big 12 nod.

And now, onto the NFL alums:

  • In the first group of players that the league announced on Twitter, a few names jumped out. Former Michigan State and Raiders quarterback Connor Cook is on the list. Cook was drafted by Oakland in the fourth-round back in 2016, and even ended up starting a playoff game for them that year after injuries to Derek Carr and Matt McGloin. He spent 2017 as a third-stringer and was released at final cuts the following year. He was briefly with the Lions earlier this offseason, but was waived back in June.
  • Everybody’s favorite kicker Roberto Aguayo was also on the list, as were running backs David Cobb and Jonas Gray. Aguayo, of course, was infamously drafted by the Buccaneers in the second-round back in 2016. He lasted only one year as the Bucs’ kicker despite his draft status, and has become a punchline ever since. Cobb had a brief run as the Titans’ lead back in 2015, but never did anything after that. He most recently played in the AAF with the San Antonio Commanders. Gray was with the Patriots in 2014, and won Super Bowl XLIX with the team. Gray randomly had an absurd week in November of that year, rushing for 201 yards and four touchdowns. He quickly fell out of favor, and was released by New England the following year. He hasn’t even been in a training camp since 2016.
  • Earlier Tuesday, the XFL posted to Twitter their second batch of players. Among the notable names was receiver Ryan Broyles, a second-round pick of the Lions back in 2012. Broyles, a legendary Oklahoma player, showed some promise as a rookie, but injuries derailed his career after that. He last appeared in a regular season game in 2014. There were also a few interesting specialists on the list in longsnapper Nate Boyer, punter Jeff Locke, and kicker Nick Novak. Boyer spent six years in the military and served in Afghanistan and Iraq before becoming a walk-on at Texas. He spent the 2015 offseason with the Seahawks, but was ultimately released. Notably, he is the player who advised Colin Kaepernick to kneel rather than sit during the national anthem. Locke spent four seasons as the Vikings’ punter. Novak is a veteran NFL kicker who spent over a decade in the league from 2005-20017. Ronald Ollie, one of the stars of the popular Netflix show ‘Last Chance U’, is also on the list.

 

Redskins Work Out 5 Kickers

Dustin Hopkins‘ availability for Week 11 appears to be in question, so the Redskins are getting an early start on examining replacement help.

With Hopkins “a bit banged up,” per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter links), Washington brought in several kickers for a Tuesday workout.

Blair Walsh, Roberto Aguayo, Kai Forbath, Sam Ficken and Jon Brown participated, Yates reports. Of the quintet, only Ficken has kicked in a 2018 game. Walsh and Forbath had gigs last season, with the Seahawks and Vikings, respectively, while Aguayo has not kicked in a game since his rough 2016 season.

Forbath has a history with Washington, having been Hopkins’ predecessor. The UCLA product served as the Redskins’ kicker from 2012-14 before moving on to roles with the Saints and Vikings. The latter cut him this year, giving the job to rookie Daniel Carlson, whose grip on it lasted two games.

The Redskins went through this with Hopkins last season. He missed eight games in 2017, and Washington used Nick Rose as its kicker during that time. Rose is not believed to have been among today’s tryout contingent. Also perhaps soon to be available is Chandler Catanzaro, whom the Buccaneers sent to waivers on Monday. But his two misses Sunday helped the Redskins pick up a road win.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/15/18

Today’s workout updates:

Cleveland Browns

  • LB Manase Hungalu (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Jets To Work Out Roberto Aguayo

The Jets continue to cycle through options at kicker in advance of their regular-season opener. Roberto Aguayo has a workout scheduled with the team on Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This marks the third known kicker audition the Jets have held this week. Aguayo is following longtime Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, while Cardinals camp kicker Matt McCrane has a scheduled workout with the Jets today.

Aguayo hit 3 of 3 field goals during his preseason stay with the Chargers, which did not obviously end up with him winning that job. He remains in search of a team. One of the biggest kicker draft investments in NFL history, Aguayo has not come close to justifying that second-round draft slot.

He has not kicked in a game since that rough 2016 rookie season with the Buccaneers, bouncing around workouts since but never commandeering a job. The Jets still have Jason Myers on their roster but are going through options in an effort to see if an upgrade is out there.

Chargers Cut Roster To 53

The Chargers have moved their roster to 53 by making the following transactions:

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Overall, not a ton of shockers here either. Spencer Pulley was the team’s starting center last year, but now finds himself cut. Rookie sixth-rounder Dylan Cantrell also failed to make the team. The Chargers elected to keep three quarterbacks, keeping Cardale Jones‘ roster spot safe for now.

Chargers Waive K Roberto Aguayo

Roberto Aguayo will now be searching for his fifth team in the past year or so. ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that the Chargers have waived the kicker. The move seems to indicate that veteran Caleb Sturgis has won the starting gig.

The Buccaneers (in)famously traded up in the second-round of the 2016 draft to select the Florida State product, surrendering a third- and fourth-rounder to make the pick. Aguayo struggled mightily during his rookie campaign, connecting on a league-worst 71-percent of his field goals, and he was waived by the Buccaneers last summer. Since that time, the 24-year-old has had stints with the Bears, Panthers, and Chargers, but he didn’t see the field once during the 2017 campaign.

However, it appears that Aguayo may be righting the ship. The kicker looked plenty competent during the preseason, connecting on all six of his field goal attempts and all three of his extra points. Teams are naturally wary of his horrendous rookie season, but Aguayo is still plenty young. As the regular season progresses, a team will surely take a look at the kicker.

Sturgis, 29, signed a two-year contract with the Chargers back in March. He had spent the past three seasons with the Eagles, although he was limited to only one game last year. His best season came in 2016, when he connected on 85.4-percent of his field goal attempts and 30 of his 31 extra point attempts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Sign Roberto Aguayo

Roberto Aguayo is getting another chance in the NFL. The kicker has signed a reserve/futures deal with the Chargers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Roberto Aguayo (vertical)

Aguayo was exceptional while at FSU, though perhaps not exceptional enough to warrant being drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft. His stint with Tampa Bay lasted just one year as the Bucs cut him in the summer of 2017. After that, he signed deals with the Bears and Panthers, but did not see live action for either team.

Nick Rose was the last kicker on the Chargers’ carousel last year, but the Bolts are looking into other options after he went 1-3 on field goals and missed one of his six extra point attempts. Although NFL success has eluded Aguayo thus far, there is little risk in bringing him in on a futures deal. If he can mentally adjust to the pro game, he could be a real option for the Bolts in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 1/4/18

Today’s NFL workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Arizona Cardinals

  • G Greg Pyke (link)

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

  • DE Evan Panfil (link)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • LS Anthony Kukwa (link)

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Rams Worked Out 10 Kickers To Replace Greg Zuerlein

The Rams will be without Greg Zuerlein for the rest of the season. Their Pro Bowl kicker, since placed on IR, will undergo back surgery on Thursday, Sean McVay said (via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com).

Zuerlein has been playing through a back injury all season, and McVay labeled it a herniated disk. The 29-year-old kicker aggravated the injury while sleeping the night before the Rams’ Week 15 game in Seattle. McVay said his kicker could barely stand on Sunday, and it affected his performance and Los Angeles’ game plan against the Seahawks.

Up next for Zuerlein will be a 12-week recovery timetable.

As for the replacement effort, Sam Ficken won quite the derby despite having no NFL kicking experience. A 2015 UDFA out of Penn State, Ficken took part in a 10-man kicker audition on Wednesday.

Veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer reports (on Twitter) the Rams worked out Roberto Aguayo, Dan Carpenter, Travis Coons, Andrew Franks, Garrett Hartley, Marshall Koehn, Younghoe Koo, Mike Meyer and Jason Myers. Two long snappers — Jeff Overbaugh and Drew Farris — and two punters-as-holders (Matt Wile and Austin Rehkow) were also on hand for this unique specialty showcase, per Balzer (on Twitter).

Carpenter and Hartley have extensive NFL experience — a combined 16 seasons’ worth — while Aguayo was selected in the second round only to become a workout journeyman by his second year. He auditioned for the Browns earlier this week and also could not procure the Rams’ kicker job, one that will feature playoff opportunities. Hartley has not kicked in a game since 2014, and Carpenter hasn’t kicked this season.

The Chargers cut Coons earlier this week, but he’s been in Los Angeles for a few weeks now after being the initial Nick Novak replacement for the Bolts. Myers hasn’t kicked since losing his Jaguars job to ex-Charger Josh Lambo, and Franks — a former Dolphin — hasn’t suited up for a 2017 contest either.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Work Out Roberto Aguayo

The Browns are kicking the tires on some notable names as the season winds down. Kicker Roberto Aguayo and tight end Gavin Escobar were among the players to audition for Cleveland on Monday, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Roberto Aguayo (Vertical)

Last year, the Bucs traded up to select Aguayo in the second-round. It was a perplexing move at the time and it backfired even quicker than anyone could have imagined. Prior to this season, the Buccaneers waived the kicker.

You never feel good when you shatter someone’s dream,” GM Jason Licht said at the time. “That is always tough, especially someone you had such high hopes for. You don’t have good feelings about that. It is a little bit of a sense of, I don’t want to say relief, but we’ve ripped off the band-aid, and we move on. We’re moving forward.”

Luckily for the Bucs, the Bears claimed Aguayo and took on the remainder of his contract. He never saw live action in Chicago, however, and the Bears quickly waived him. This time around, there were no takers for his $400K+ salary guarantee. He went on to have a stint on the Panthers’ practice squad, but that too was short lived.

Escobar, also a former second-round draft pick, never blossomed into the downfield threat the Cowboys hoped he’d be. The tight end worked out for roughly one-third of the league’s teams this year and had a cup of coffee with Baltimore before being put back on to the free agent pile. He appeared in two games for the Ravens, but did not record a reception.

In Escobar’s four seasons with Dallas, he started just seven games. His had at least 100 receiving yards in his first two seasons, but combined for just 12 receptions, 94 yards, and two touchdowns in 2015 and 2016.

Quarterback Stephen Morris, punter Jeff Locke, and four other players also worked out for the Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.