Cairo Santos ready for kicking competition with Matt Gay

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Cairo Santos ended the Buccaneers’ offseason work early, making a field goal to send the team into vacation an hour early. It was good news for the Bucs, who have had more than their share of kicking problems the past few seasons.

Nobody is happier to see that field goal go through than me,” new Bucs coach Bruce Arians said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

Santos replaced Chandler Catanzaro last season and made 9-of-12 field goals in eight games. The Bucs drafted Utah kicker Matt Gay in the fifth round to compete with Santos, who received a one-year, $1 million deal.

The Bucs have used seven kickers the past four seasons, with less than desirable results. They are hoping either Santos or Gay is the answer long term.

“Number one, the competition is always against myself,” Santos said. “But having Matt here, he’s a tremendous, powerful kicker and I think he rejuvenates that competitive spirit. For three off-seasons, I was the only guy in Kansas City. Last year, I competed a little bit. I went to many tryouts and it was great to be in those environments to get ready for the season.”