Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs sign former Jets K Folk to compete with Aguayo for starting job

(Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former New York Jets kicker Nick Folk on Saturday to compete with Roberto Aguayo for the starting job.

Folk, 32, who spent the past seven seasons with the Jets before being cut last month, went 27-of-31 (87.1 percent) on field goals last season. His longest kick was from 51 yards. He also went 3-for-3 on field goals from 40 to 49 yards, tied for best in the league, and went 2-of-4 on kicks from 50-plus yards.

In 10 seasons, he’s made 81.3 percent of his field goal tries.

A second-round draft pick in 2016, Aguayo struggled as a rookie, making just 22 of 31 field goals (71 percent), the lowest percentage of any kicker in the league. His four field goals from 40 to 49 yards out were tied for 25th in the league, and he made just four of 11 attempts from 40-plus yards.

The Jets released Folk on Feb. 23 in a move to free up space under the salary cap. Though he is coming off one of his best years statistically, he missed two extra points, including a costly one in the season opener, which the Jets lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 23-22.

Folk played his first three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and was selected to his only Pro Bowl in 2007, his rookie season.

The Bucs traded up into the second round to select Aguayo, making him the highest-drafted kicker since Mike Nugent in 2005 (by the Jets). Bucs coach Dirk Koetter acknowledged, however, that regardless of where Aguayo was selected in the draft, he needed to improve.

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