The Buc most likely to be cut or traded following the NFL draft in the opinion of ESPN’s Bill Barnwell is not who you might think.
Though, when you take a moment to think about it, it seems obvious.
With the surprising pick of kicker Matt Gay in the fifth round of the draft, the Bucs all but sealed the fate of incumbent Cairo Santos.
“When you’re a kicker and you think you were overdrafted, it’s not a good sign,” Barnwell writes. “The Bucs have been beyond awful at identifying and developing kickers the past few years, but by drafting Gay, it’s likely that they’ll be giving the rookie the inside edge in a competition with Santos.”
Gay, the first placekicker taken in the draft, was the Lou Groza award winner as the nation’s top placekicker in 2017. He made 21 straight field goal attempts last season, a University of Utah record.
Santos joined the Bucs at midseason last year and was re-signed after converting nine of 12 field-goal attempts. He and Gay will be joined at camp by former German Football League kicker Phillip Anderson, who the Bucs signed in February. Punter Bradley Pinion is expected to handle kickoff duties.
Of course, this does not necessarily mean that Barnwell believes six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will be back with the Bucs in the fall. Only, that Santos might have an even slimmer chance of returning, in Barnwell’s estimation.