TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have yet another kicker in 2020. The Bucs waived Matt Gay, their fifth-round draft pick in 2019, a source told ESPN. Gay becomes the second Bucs kicker drafted in the past five years who was cut after his rookie season.
Veteran Ryan Succop, who was brought in earlier this week to replace Elliott Fry, has won the job. Succop will be the 10th kicker the Bucs have had attempting field goals since 2010, which will tie the Los Angeles Chargers for the most in the NFL in that span.
Both kickers participated in a closed scrimmage Thursday at Raymond James Stadium, and coach Bruce Arians called it a “really good day” for both, with Succop missing a 56-yard field goal and Gay hitting the same kick but missing a shorter one. Arians had said that he wanted a kicker who was consistent on “gimme” kicks.
In 11 seasons, Succop has made 82% of his field goals and 97% of his extra-point attempts. He hit a record 56 straight field goals inside the 50 from 2014 to 2017, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He was, however, 1-for-6 last year prior to going on injured reserve.
Last season, Gay made 77.1% of his field goals and 89.6% of his extra-point attempts, with his primary struggles coming in the open south end zone, opposite the pirate ship, which is known to have wind issues. Leg strength wasn’t an issue. In fact, he made 5-of-8 field goal attempts from 50+ yards. Five of Gay’s eight misses came in the last three games, including going 0-for-3 in the season finale.