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Bucs cut Chandler Catanzaro, continuing the trend of in-season kicking changes

Chandler Catanzaro (7) is out as Bucs' kicker, released Monday after missing two field goals in a 16-3 loss to Washington. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
Chandler Catanzaro (7) is out as Bucs' kicker, released Monday after missing two field goals in a 16-3 loss to Washington. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Published Nov. 12, 2018
Updated Nov. 13, 2018

TAMPA — The latest chapter in the Bucs' dubious kicking history ended on Monday as the club cut struggling Chandler Catanzaro a day after missing two field goals in a 16-3 home loss to Washington.

Catanzaro was 11-for-15 on field-goal attempts in nine games, missing attempts of 30 and 48 yards — and making a 33-yard attempt in between — on Sunday. He also missed four extra points this season, all of them coming on his first extra-point attempt of a game.

The Bucs signed Catanzaro to a three-year deal that guaranteed him $3.75 million this season, hoping he would give the team the consistency it lacked.

Tampa Bay's next kicker will be its seventh since the beginning of the 2015 season. Since then Bucs kickers have converted 72.5 percent of field-goal attempts.

The team announced the move on Monday afternoon, but did not announce Catanzaro's replacement for Sunday's road game against the New York Giants.

The decision came after the Bucs offense netted 501 yards Sunday, but managed just three points, their lowest output of the season, in a game marred by four turnovers — three by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick — and two missed kicks by Catanzaro.

Before the announcement Monday, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said the team was doing "due diligence" with another kicker, but no move had been made.

Catanzaro's found himself on shaky footing after the Bucs' last home game against the Browns, when he missed an extra-point attempt and a 40-yard field goal try that would have given the Bucs the win in regulation. He later made a 57-yard field goal to win the game in overtime.

Catanzaro missed three of his last seven field-goal attempts. Sunday's 30-yard miss was his first from inside 40 yards (he was 9-for-9 previously), but the game-winning 57-yarder against Cleveland was his only make from outside 40 yards (1-for-4).

Catanzaro's 73.3 field-goal conversion percentage ranked 25th among NFL kickers who have attempted at least 10 field goals.

It is the lowest of Catanzaro's five-year NFL career, which included three years in Arizona and last season with the Jets. With New York he  made 83.3 percent of his kicks and was perfect on extra points.

The move marked the third time in four years the Bucs have changed kickers in the middle of the season. They cut Kyle Brindza four games into the 2015 season after he made just 6 of 12 field-goal attempts, bringing back Connor Barth, who went 23-for-28.

In 2017, they gave the job to Nick Folk to open the season after cutting former second-round pick Roberto Aguayo in the preseason. Folk hit just 6 of his 11 attempts before he was replaced with Patrick Murray, another former Buc.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.