Roberto Aguayo Claimed Off Waivers by Bears After Buccaneers Release

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10:  Roberto Aguayo #19 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after missinf a field goal against the Carolina Panthers during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears announced they have claimed kicker Roberto Aguayo off waivers Sunday.

ESPN.com's Field Yates first reported the move.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived Aguayo, a second-round draft pick in 2016, on Saturday. He made one of his two field-goal attempts and missed his lone extra-point attempt in the team's 23-12 preseason defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals Friday.

Many were puzzled by the Buccaneers' decision to select Aguayo so early in the 2016 draft, and he did little to lessen the skepticism after finishing with the worst conversion rate for field goals (71.0 percent) among qualified kickers as a rookie.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller offered this harsh critique of the 23-year-old:

Despite his struggles, Aguayo is a sensible pickup off waivers. He was a three-time All-American at Florida State and won the Lou Groza Award for college football's top placekicker in 2013. Over his three seasons with the Seminoles, he was 69-of-78 on field-goal attempts and hit all 198 of his extra-point attempts.

Aguayo has the talent to be a productive NFL kicker; the question is whether he can handle the accompanying mental rigors. In the midst of an underwhelming 2016 preseason, he sought the services of former NFL kicker Ryan Longwell to help him adjust to the league.

Leaving Tampa Bay could be the best thing for Aguayo, since he no longer has to deal with the weight of expectation that comes with being a kicker selected in the second round of the draft.

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The Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell noted Aguayo replaced the Bears' incumbent starting kicker, Connor Barth, last year on the Buccaneers. That could be the case again if Aguayo makes a strong impression over the final three weeks of the preseason.