Kansas City Chiefs: Will This Be Ryan Succop's Final Season in Kansas City?

Farzin VousoughianContributor IIISeptember 13, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 20:  Ryan Succop #6 of the Kansas City Chiefs watches his field goal attempt during their NFL game against the Cleveland Browns on December 20, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Browns defeated the Chiefs 41-34. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After seeing another missed field goal from long-range, it is clear that Ryan Succop is not the kicker of the future in Kansas City.

Succop was picked up by the Chiefs with the final pick of the 2009 draft and is known as “Mr. Irrelevant.” Following his selection, it was clear that the Chiefs parted ways with their last kicker, Connor Barth.

In his career, Succop has helped the Chiefs win four games. He was a key asset for the Chiefs in 2009 against the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers and also contributed in 2010 against the Cleveland Browns by helping the Chiefs win. However, none of those games for Succop were as crazy as the game against the Buffalo Bills in 2010.

The winless Bills entered Arrowhead Stadium on Halloween and gave the Chiefs a run for their money. Tied at 10 in overtime, Succop is given the golden opportunity to give the Chiefs their fifth win and prevent an embarrassment with 3:43 remaining. But with the ball on the left hash mark at the 39-yard line, Succop’s kick went wide left. He hung his head in disappointment after realizing he gave the Bills second life.

Thankfully, the Chiefs defense forced the Bills to punt the ball back with 1:20 to go in overtime. Eventually, the Chiefs placed the ball at the right hash mark of Buffalo’s 16-yard line. Succop succeeds and makes the most of his second chance after making a 35-yard field goal to win the game. Had the Bills been more clever in their final possession, they could have picked up a win on the road.

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 31:  Kicker Ryan Succop #6 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after making a filed goal in overtime to win the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 31, 2010  at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Succop has also contributed in other games and is 45-of-56 in his field goals. But from 40 yards out, Succop has only made 15-of-26 field goals and is 3-of-8 from 50 yards out.

This preseason, Succop had an opportunity to help the Chiefs beat the Packers in Week 4 with a 56-yard field goal attempt, but the kick went wide left as time expired.

This past Sunday in the second quarter, Succop was sent to give the Chiefs their first set of points in the game to cut the deficit and make it 14-3. However, Succop’s 49-yard field goal attempt went wide right, keeping the Chiefs scoreless until later in the quarter.

Succop has not been able to prove that he can remain consistent from long range. What if the Chiefs are down by one or two points and need Succop to be the hero from 50 yards away? Kickers who are clutch from a far away distance tend to have long lasting careers in the National Football League.

He signed a three-year deal after being drafted by the Chiefs and is in the final year of his contract.

Chiefs fans have noticed the five challenging games on the schedule in the late part of the season. If the Chiefs can recover and improve throughout the season from this weekend’s blowout loss, we might find them competing against those five elite teams in close contests.

It’s likely that the Chiefs might have to win one of those games with Succop. But if it is coming from long range, there are reasons for Chiefs fans to feel nervous the moment the ball is snapped.

This year, if given the opportunity, Succop must improve on his long field goals and win the Chiefs a game with a long field goal. By doing so in the final year of his contract, Succop could find himself receiving a contract offer from Scott Pioli to re-sign with the Chiefs.

If Succop chokes and continues to miss his deep shots, the Chiefs will not retain him and seek help from a new kicker in the future.