Tampa Bay Buccaneeers release PK Nugent, sign Andrus
Mike Nugent's career with the Bucs was much like his wayward field goal attempts -- long enough and no good.
The Bucs have released Nugent, one day after he missed two field goals in the Bucs 16-13 loss to the Washington Redskins.
The Bucs replaced Nugent with former Colts kicker Shane Andrus, who worked out for the team Monday along with former Seahawks kicker Brandon Coutu.
Andrus signed as an undrafted free agent with the Colts in 2006. He spent the preseason with Indianapolis and kicked off in the first regular season game before being released.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris indicated at his news conference that Nugent might lose his job.
But because Nugent was a vested veteran and was on the 53-man roster Week 1, his $2-million base salary is guaranteed.
"We've got kickers coming in today to work out,'' Morris said. "If got an opportunity to get better, then you try to. If you don't, then you don't.''
Nugent missed his first four field attempts this season before connecting on attempts of 37- and 22-yards Sunday, the second of which was deflected and barely fluttered over the goal post. Nugent, a second-round pick of the Jets from Ohio State in 2005, said Monday he is mystified by the slump.
"This is the first time," Nugent said of his erratic start. "I just think it's one of those things where you get knocked down six times you got to get up seven.’’
Nugent won the job over veteran Matt Bryant in training camp by default when Bryant suffered a hamstring injury a week into training camp. Bryant was unable to compete after that and was released on the final roster cut.
The Bucs have given no indication why they haven’t contacted Bryant, but there’s speculation they’re concerned about his injury recurring. Bryant was expected to work out for the New York Giants.
Conditions weren’t ideal for kickers Sunday at FedEx Field. The wind was from the northwest at 10 miles per hour, but gusts were much higher. But the Bucs weren’t making excuses for Nugent.
"Kickers are not my real expertise, '' Morris said. "But we missed them. The only thing that really matters about a kicker is the result. When you go out there, you either make it or you miss it.''
The Bucs also released cornerback Marcus Hamilton in anticipation of activating safety Tanard Jackson from the reserve/suspended list. Jackson served a four-game suspension for violatiing the league's substance abuse policy.