The Buccaneers beefed up their kicking competition this summer on Friday by claiming former Panthers kicker, Elliot Fry. Fry began his career with the Bears last season after a stint in the AAF.
Matt Gay, a Bucs fifth-round pick in 2019, finished the season hitting just 77 percent of his field goals (27-of-35). He was 43-of-48 in extra-point attempts. Despite some nice moments, there were plenty of bad ones. For instance, the missed kick against the Giants and going 0-for-3 in the season finale. It is likely Gay’s job to lose, however, Fry is clearly here to push him.
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“We feel Matt is going to be better this year,” Licht said on Wednesday via the Tampa Bay Times. “We feel Matt has a big upside. But we’re definitely planning on adding competition.”
Despite spending time with both the Giants, Ravens, and Panthers, Fry has yet to attempt a field goal in the NFL. He is 3-for-4 in three preseason games. However, in seven games with the Orlando Apollos of the now-defunct AAF, Fry was 14-of-14 on field goal attempts. At 6-1, the Apollos were one of, if not, the best team in the AAF before the league folded prior to the conclusion of year one.
The Buccaneers are no strangers to kicking woes. In 2018, Cairo Santos and Chandler Cantanzaro combined to his just 75.1 percent of their field goals. And, of course, former SECOND round pick, Roberto Aguayo, hit on just 71 percent of his attempts in 2016 during his rookie season.