Roberto Aguayo

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.

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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.

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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.

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Panthers Cut K Roberto Aguayo

Roberto Aguayo‘s NFL journey will continue elsewhere. The Panthers have released the former second-round kicker from the practice squad, as Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets. In related practice squad moves, the team has also cut running back Jalen Simmons while signing tight end Kent Taylor and wide receiver Rasheed BaileyRoberto Aguayo (vertical)

The Buccaneers gave up on their investment in Aguayo after a dreadful rookie season. When the Bucs cut him in the summer, the Bears (for some reason) claimed him off waivers and assumed his contract. In September, the Bears threw in the towel on the FSU product and put themselves on the hook for upwards of $400K in guaranteed salary.

In 2016, Aguayo, made only 22-of-31 field goal attempts (71%) and missed two extra points. It was a huge disappointment for the Bucs, particularly since they traded up to draft him.

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Panthers Sign Roberto Aguayo To P-Squad

Roberto Aguayo is back in the NFL. Sort of. The Panthers announced that they have signed the former Buccaneers and Bears kicker to the practice squad. Roberto Aguayo (Vertical)

Aguayo will give the Panthers insurance this week while they figure out what is going on with Graham Gano. Gano has a knee injury and it’s not clear if he will be able to go this weekend. Following the game against the Bears on Sunday, Gano was seen icing down his knee in the locker room.

The Buccaneers surprised everyone in 2016 when they used a second-round pick (and traded up for that pick) to select the local kicker. Their confidence in Aguayo’s leg was not rewarded. As a rookie, he made only 22-of-31 field goal attempts (71%) and missed two extra points. When he was unable to turn things around in training camp and the preseason, Tampa Bay waived him.

Luckily for the Bucs, the Bears were intrigued enough by Aguayo to claim him off of waivers. The Bears cut him before the start of the season, leaving them on the hook for upwards of $400K.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/24/17

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

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

  • LS Trent Gow (link)

Detroit Lions

  • WR Jake Kumerow (link)

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

Bears Audition Two Kickers

The Bears could be considering a change at kicker. Today, the team brought in Roberto Aguayo and Josh Lambo for a tryout, a league source tells Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Roberto Aguayo (vertical)

Connor Barth has been the Bears’ kicker since taking over for Robbie Gould in 2016. Last year, the veteran converted on just 78.3% of his field goals. This year, the 31-year-old has missed two of his four attempts, though one of those was a 57-yard try against Green Bay last week. The other miss was a 47-yard attempt against the Steelers in Week 3. To his credit, he is a perfect 7-of-7 on extra points in 2017 and he missed only one XP last year.

If signed, this will mark Aguayo’s second stint with Chicago in 2017. The former second round pick was claimed by Chicago after he was waived by the Bucs, but he was unable to prove himself in camp and was dropped three weeks later. The Bucs took on Aguayo’s $428K salary guarantee when they picked him up on the waiver wire and they had nothing to show for it.

Lambo lost the Chargers’ kicking competition to undrafted rookie Younghoe Koo this summer. After he was cut, he worked out for the Raiders, Eagles, and Jaguars, but was unable to find a home with any of those teams.

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Extra Points: Steelers, Bell, Bears

Here’s a quick look around the NFL:

  • Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell passed his physical yesterday after showing up at the team’s facility, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He did not sign his franchise tag yet, but he will, Rapoport adds. Bell’s Steelers open up the season in Cleveland on Sept. 10.
  • The Bears were the only team to put in a waiver claim on kicker Roberto Aguayo after the Bucs cut him earlier this month, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. They’re now likely going to be stuck paying his $428K guarantee after releasing him on Saturday.
  • The Redskins are still trying to trade Derek Carrier and two teams are currently in on him, Mike Jones of The Washington Post (on Twitter) hears. It’s still unclear how likely a deal is, however. Carrier has been traded before – he came to Washington via a swap with San Francisco in 2015.
  • The Cardinals will pursue punter Andy Lee now that he is a free agent, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets. This makes sense considering that the Cardinals considered trading for him this week prior to his release.
  • The Packers are looking for help at offensive guard, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle hears (Twitter link). Green Bay will start Lane Taylor and Jahri Evans at the two guard spots.

Bears Waive Roberto Aguayo

The Bears have waived kicker Roberto Aguayo, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Veteran Connor Barth will be Chicago’s kicker in 2017.Roberto Aguayo (Vertical)

Aguayo joined the Bears last month after Chicago made the curious decision to claim the former second-round pick off waivers from the Buccaneers. While giving a young kicker an opportunity wasn’t a bad idea on its face, the Bears took on Aguayo’s $428K salary guarantee, a total they’ll now be forced to absorb as dead money.

Aguayo, of course, posted subpar numbers in 2016 after being drafted in the second round, making only 22-of-31 field goal attempts (71%) and missing two extra points. That performance, combined with his struggles in camp and the preseason, was enough for Tampa Bay to thrown in the towel, despite having traded up in the draft to select him a year ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.