There will be a new kicker putting toe to leather for the Buccaneers in 2020. After an abbreviated camp battle, Ryan Succop got the ‘leg up’ in the kicking competition. The team placed 2019 fifth round pick Matt Gay on waivers Friday morning. There have been quite a few changes at the Advent Health Training Center this year. Curing the teams recent ills at the kicking position was of the utmost importance. So, just who is the Buccaneers newest placekicker?
More Like Mr. Relevant
Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the very last pick of the 2009 draft, the kicker from the University of South Carolina dropped the “Mr. Irrelevant” tag pretty quickly. He was initially going to compete with Connor Barth for the Chiefs starting kicker position. Although Barth would be released in July of 2009, leaving Succop to man the position.
He would finish his rookie year tying the record for field goal percentage by a rookie at 86.2%. Passing Jan Stenerud for most field goals made by a rookie in Chiefs history. Ryan would be named to the All Rookie team that season.
Just Call Him Clutch
During his rookie season, Succop made a 22-yard field goal in overtime to beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. On October 31st, 2010 he would make a 35-yard field goal as time expired in overtime to beat the Buffalo Bills. Again, exactly one year later, another field goal in over time to beat the San Diego Chargers.
After the 2011 season he would sign a five year contract extension worth 14 million dollars. In 2012 he would become the all time leader in field goals attempted/made for the Chiefs. This feat would occur during a game where he went 6-for-6 on field goals. An overtime victory over the Saints in New Orleans. This just so happens to be where the Buccaneers play week one in just over a week. Giddy-up!
A Kicker’s Dilemma
As is the case so often with the kicker on an NFL team. In a salary cap move following the 2014 season, Succop would be waived. He would land in Tennessee and affter a solid 2017 season would sign a three-year $7.2 million contract.
Succop earned the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September 2017 for going 10-of-11 on field goals, converting all eight extra points, and leading the NFL with 38 points. In a Week 6 victory against the Indianapolis Colts, Succop converted all five field goal attempts and set a record for the most consecutive field goals inside 50 yards, earning him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the fifth time in his career. In 2018, Succop signed a five-year, $20 million contract extension with the Titans. He would spend 2019 mostly on the IR after off season knee surgery. In march of this year he was released by the Titans.
The Pirates Life For Thee
Now Succop finds himself filling a most important role on the 2020 Buccaneers squad. Whether it be field goals, or extra points after all those touchdowns the team expects to score. This team has wandered near and far to find a clutch kicker. Succop has all the tools to be able to fill that need. He might have been “Mr. Irrelevant” coming out of the 2009 NFL draft. But for the 2020 season, Succop is anything but.