CHICAGO – For nearly a decade, Robbie Gould made thinking about a kicker a bit of an afterthought for the Bears.
From 2005-2015, the veteran had a steady grip on the kicks for the team as Gould established himself as the highest scoring player in team history.
Yet an inconsistent start to the 2016 preseason was enough for the Bears to cut ties with the long-time kicker in favor of Connor Barth. The move was a surprise to many who thought the team might look past Gould’s preseason struggles considering his history.
A year later, it appears the Bears still aren’t sold on the guy they brought into replace No. 9.
In a surprise move, the team picked up recently released placekicker Roberto Aguayo off the waiver wire. He was let go by the Buccaneers just a year after being drafted in the second round out of Florida State because of erratic kicking that continued into Tampa’s preseason opener after missing an extra point and field goal against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
This was all part of a rough first year for Aguayo, who hit just 22-of-31 field goals on the season while missing a pair of extra points. While not terrible, it was viewed as a performance not worthy of a second round pick even if he was that good during his career with the Seminoles.
Aguayo is the most accurate kicker in the history of the ACC and third in NCAA history when he hit 69-of-78 field goal attempts while making all 198 extra point attempts.
He’ll come into workouts at Halas Hall competing with Barth, who was good if not great in his first season with the Bears. He converted 18-of-23 field goal attempts while hitting 31-of-32 extra point attempts, each which were a bit lower than his career averages.
So what does the signing of Aguayo mean? Are the Bears looking to keep Barth’s preseason work in check or looking to replace him? Gould’s released by Ryan Pace took people by surprise, so stay tuned over the next three weeks.