Buccaneers Get A Kick Out Of Latest Signing


Those who’ve read my stuff for a while know that the Buccaneers’ former kicker Ryan Succop was a personal favorite of mine. I was the self-appointed president of his fan club.

He was accurate, solid, and a great kicker on a Super Bowl-winning team.

So, when he was released by the Bucs before last season, I was worried about the Tampa Bay’s ability to sign someone not only competent, but someone who could capture my heart.

Well, Chase McLaughlin may lack the understated swagger of Succop (the Succop Swagger, if you will, trademark pending), but my goodness the former Colt was absolutely dynamite last year.

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So good in fact, that he set the Bucs’ team record for highest kicking percentage in a single season.

And what was the first thing the Bucs did Monday afternoon, on a news-filled NFL day with the start of free agency? Re-sign that fantastic kicker to a three-year, $12.3 million deal.

The specifics of the deal are still coming out in regards to guarantees, incentives, etc., but the biggest takeaway is that the Bucs won’t have to worry about special teams too much in the draft. Kicker and punter should not come up on draft boards for Tampa Bay.

Of course, kicking is such a volatile and finicky thing, I could be changing my tune by the end of this season. These things happen, but for now, I’m excited the Bucs have one less thing to worry about in the offseason.

Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans will get all the headlines for their deals, and rightfully so, they’re actually the most important signings of this offseason, but in my heart, McLaughlin beats them both.

Bucs fans know all too well the cost of bad kicking on teams; good kickers can’t elevate a team to contention, but man, bad ones sure can ruin a team’s chances at being remotely competent.

Roberto Aguayo, the Matt Bryant curse, I could go on, but instead I’ll just leave you with this thought.

If the Buccaneers season comes down to a kick, I think McLaughlin might be one of the most dependable options in the NFL.

Harrison Butker, Justin Tucker, all good and well. But the next name you should think of when it comes to great kickers?

Chase McLaughlin.

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This article originally appeared on CLTAMPA.COM and is used with permission.

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Follow @ctbrantley12 on Twitter and listen to him on the RBLR Bucs podcast

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