Roberto Aguayo’s NFL career got off on the wrong foot and it never recovered.
The Buccaneers traded up to pick Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 draft, but he missed his first kick of the preseason. That planted seeds of doubt in many minds, including Aguayo’s. He told Mirin Fader of Bleacher Report that he began doubting himself in a way he never did at Florida State and his confidence kept dwindling as he missed more kicks over the course of the season.
Aguayo wound up being cut after his rookie season and he has not appeared in a regular season game since then, but says that he has recovered his confidence. He told Fader that he stopped defining himself solely as a kicker and made all nine kicks he tried for the Chargers in the preseason last year.
That didn’t land him a job, remains hopeful that he’ll get another chance this year.
“I know I can get back,” Aguayo said. “People are probably like: ‘Oh, he’s done. He can’t do it anymore.’ No. I did it at a high level in college. I never got a chance to show it again. I know I can. I’m hitting the ball well now. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of opportunity.”
The kicking carousel will spin at one point or another this season, although Aguayo said he wonders if he’d be “bad publicity” will keep teams from going with a player who flamed out in such a notable way.