Roberto Aguayo Unplugged

May 29th, 2019

New feature explores the pressure that doomed him.

He is the nightmare that will not end for Bucs fans. For better or worse, his name will always be branded on the backside of Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, even if the Bucs make the playoffs.

He is former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo. And in short, the NFL chewed him up and spit him out.

In an emotional story on Bleacher Report, Miran Fader typed a long piece on how NFL kicking nearly wrecked Aguayo, who the Bucs traded up for in the second round of the 2016 draft.

Aguayo melted down so badly from the pressure he put on himself and outside pressure that he began to hate just about everyone: fans, media, teammates, himself. Support from teammates even added to the pressure. His debacle of a career nearly tore apart his marriage.

In her story, Fader hints the circling of the drain began for Aguayo when the Bucs spent such a high draft pick and draft capital to acquire him.

The pressure weighed on him. Consumed him. Pressure of missing another kick. Of being drafted in the second round out of Florida State in 2016 after Tampa Bay traded up for him in a stunning move. Of letting everyone down.

He was angry. Angry at the fans who called him a “bust” and a “headcase.” Angry at the reporters who’d ask him over and over why he was failing. Angry because the painful reality was that they were all right. He was being paid to do a job that he could not do. He was not delivering. He was not living up to expectations.

And he didn’t have answers. Not for fans, for reporters, for himself. It might have been this, it might have been that, but he did not have one clear-cut answer. Nothing beyond: I don’t know. I’m human. I sucked today.

Later in her story, Fader reveals Aguayo was not the same kicker the Bucs drafted. Between his final season at Florida State and his first NFL training camp, Aguayo decided to monkey with his kicking leg swing. An avid golf fan, Aguayo reasoned if Tiger Woods could change his swing in an effort to strive for perfection, so too could he.

As we all know all too well, he never recovered.

It may be harsh, cruel, cold to paint with a broad brush the stereotype that kickers are headcases. Unfortunately, Fader’s story reinforces that stereotype, documenting how Aguayo, on recommendations from the Bucs, tried various counselors but had trouble trusting their words.

The story is a powerful read for Joe and just shows how the NFL, while it is a dream for so many, can quickly turn into a horror flick if someone lets the pressure get to them.

36 Responses to “Roberto Aguayo Unplugged”

  1. Says:

    Seems like a nice guy.

  2. Dlavid Says:

    Agustin and Dilfer are two names , as a fan since ‘76 ) wish to never hear again !

  3. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    dude was a jackwagon at FSU and his brother too watch their videos of how cocky they were when they made FGs, they put automatica brothers to shame. Poor baby and licht will forever go down as that gm that always screams: “Hold my beer”

  4. Bucnjim Says:

    This is where my argument of drafting mentality tough players proves a point. Here is one of the best examples! You see there is pressure in everyday life just like he was experiencing. Not just for NFL players but ALL of us.

  5. Slugglife Says:

    Who the F changes their swing right after being drafted? That’s just stupid. This dude thought that was a recipe for success? Thanks al lot buddy.

    Enjoy that money you stole from the Bucs.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “You haven’t heard much from Pablo since the Aguayo meltdown. Pablo has been embarrassed that one of Pablo’s homeboys failed so badly……Pablo had hopes that Santos would succeed but it doesn’t look like it. Pablo is sad, very sad…..Pablo still has his elongated arc (like Haboo)…..and still does Pasco County roofs by day and table dances by night…..Pablo thinks Hason helped ruin Roberto”

  7. AL121976 Says:

    The full article is a pretty good read, thanks for posting the link.

  8. SCBucsFan Says:

    Bucnjim but how do you test mentally strong? Everyone is mentally strong until they fail and can’t get over it.

  9. Buccanoles01 Says:

    Good story, the kid just wasn’t ready to be an NFL kicker when he got drafted. Hopefully he gets another chance and does a good job.

  10. Jim Says:

    Part I don’t get is his anger at the fans for calling him a “bust” and a “headcase”. Sorry, but that’s what he was.

  11. AJ Says:

    Damn I went all day without thinking of Roberto Aguayo. Thanks for nothing Joe!

  12. Barbosa Says:

    The GM should have been fired for that pick. Unfortunately our Bucs are run by the worst ownership in football. (Papa glazer doesn’t count). I’m shocked the Bucs are the top ranked “best customer service “ team in the NFL. The product has been horrendous for over a decade now in a league that is designed to get teams back on their feet and competing quickly. Freaking embarrassing

  13. TDTB Says:

    Well it’s safe to say Roberto will never have a serious job or own his own business. Maybe he can be a greeter at Walmart.

  14. firethecannons Says:

    Hope Aguayo can make it back and remains solid

  15. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Dude was 23/32 from 40-50+ yards at FSU. Being good at kicks under 40 yards was never gonna cut it in the NFL

    Another stupid Licht pick

  16. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Damn Joe you missed the most compelling part of the story. Aguayo has been training hard, making kicks and has his swagger back. He was perfect with the Chargers in the preseason last year. I think he may make it all the way back soon. I hope he does. It would be kind of like Tiger, coming back after being left for dead. He has gone through a lot these last couple of years. Hope he can do it.

  17. Magadude Says:

    Changing his leg swing? That was dumb, and he should have dropped that quickly. Kicking isn’t really something one cannot so much coach how to kick as much as they can coach inconsistent form–it works differently for all…

    And now we have Head Case #2 here, courtesy of JL. Great.

  18. Wesley Says:

    Same thing happened to Gramatica, he went from automatica to just plain bad.

  19. Jim Says:

    Kick a guy when he’s down fellas

  20. Buc believer Says:

    Cry me a freeking river…. Missauyo SUCKED BIG TIME and got paid handsomely for it a Gump was and is an idiot for drafting him. Dont feel bad for him at all dude made good money for a year and a half work.

  21. Howard Cosell Says:

    There is absolutely no doubt that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise is cursed by God himself.
    Every single year without fail there’s silly drama and bad football.
    Every year.
    This year our best player suddenly breaks his neck? wtf is that?
    Maybe the curse of Gruden is real?

  22. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Howard, you hit the nail on the head.

  23. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Curses are as real as silly religion, and Scientology

    Bucs are just colossal failures at acquiring and developing talent

  24. BringBucsBack Says:

    He Probably would have turned out fine had he gone in the 6th round, where he should have been drafted. He probably could have been more relaxed while kicking without the pressure of living up to the 2nd round pick that Gump gave TWO players away to trade up for.

    Kicking coach?
    Changing his swing was a “stroke” of genius;/

    The worst pick ever! Hyperbole? No! Because picking a football player in any round carries risks yet, can be justified because, he is a football player. A SOCCER PLAYER is NEVER worth a 2nd round pick in a professional football draft! Ever!

    See Fire Licht’s name!

  25. James Walker Says:

    Heads I win, tails you lose.

  26. '79 Defense Says:

    I still blame Licht, or whoever made the decision to pick him that high. Target on his back and relentless pressure (especially these days with social media) the moment his name was called.

    What other second round pick has had to deal with that much pressure? –No, not Ronald Jones.

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The way I heard it was that the Glazers wanted Aguayo.

    The pick wasn’t that bad. We needed a kicker and they took a shot at one. The problem is that because teams tend to carry only one kicker, there is no time for development. It’s the only position like that. And yes, kickers can benefit from having developmental time. And yes, kickers can be coached.

    Fans talk about how easy it is to find a good kicker in free agency…well, it hasn’t happened yet after trying many times.

    Thankfully, I think Matt Gay might finally solve our problem and rescue us from Santos.

    The coaches didn’t even waste time having Santos attempt a 59 yard FG a few weeks ago. And then he lacked the leg strength for a 50 yarder this week? If Santos is on the final 53, he is going to cost us games.

    Still though, would it be better to throw Gay to the wolves from the start, or keep both so he can play hero a couple games into the season?

  28. adam from ny Says:

    resign aguayo…bring the fugger into camp…

    let’s get crazy!

  29. Allbuccedup Says:

    Jaon Lichts finest moment.

  30. lowercaseg Says:

    I don’t blame robert on being a crappy kicker, I blame Jason Licht being crap and drafting him in the 2nd, and then I blame the owners for allowing this sinking ship to continue in its losing ways since the superbowl run.

  31. Cobraboy Says:

    @ TBBF: how would Pablo describe “mentally weak?”

  32. Cobraboy Says:

    No test has been devised to determine mental toughness.

    It’s one thing to tee a ball up and kick through the uprights on exhibition of skill and mental strength.

    It’s a little easier to kick field goals in a team practice as an exhibition of skill and mental strength.

    Game conditions are all that really matter. My experience shows a kicker loses 7-10 yards in distance and some in accuracy between teeing up and kicking and kicking in an actual game. The mental frame is completely different.

    I suspect Aguayo knows this. He knew he may be exposed as a fraud. So he changed his swing for greater distance.

    And it didn’t work.

    That’s why the mental breakdown; Fear of being exposed.

    Being a second rounder only brings pressure if you know you didn’t deserve it.


    Back in The Day I convinced the Head coach to end all full-contact practices, pre-season, two-a-days, and during the season (Tuesday-Thursday)c to end practice with one make-it-or-break-it FG attempt with a full-tilt rush. Kicker makes it, no sprints. He misses the kick, 5 wind sprints. Distance was always over 40 yards.

    There is no greater pressure than performing in in front of your peers, knowing you cause full team discomfort if you miss. The mentally strong flourish in that environment. The weak perish.

    I suspect Aguayo was world class weak.

  33. T REX Says:

    Let me go on record that I don’t care where he went to school. He needs to perform. I loved D Brooks.

  34. D-Rome Says:

    Being a second rounder only brings pressure if you know you didn’t deserve it.

    Matt Gay didn’t think he would have been drafted at all. o.O

  35. jjbucfan Says:

    Gator fan is out in full force today. Can’t even support a Nole as. Buc- worst fans ever, most have never even sniffed that campus let alone graduate from there. My dads uncles cousins best bud went there doesn’t count fools. Those that truly went to those schools know what that rivalry is about and once they leave school and become Buccaneers all that is gone. Only the posers are left to attack the players from the other school so viciously. As a human, I hope he gets his 💩 together. I bet dollars to donuts our coaches had something to do with those swing changes. Same thing as Jameis- tried to change his delivery instead of letting dude just do what got him there. Always one too many genius in the room at OBP it seems. To use a golf reference, coaches tried to get Furyk to change his swing…he told them to F off if they don’t like it. Dude has been like too 5 in the world for like 20 years.

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    D-Rome Says:

    Matt Gay didn’t think he would have been drafted at all. o.O

    But did he think he didn’t deserve to be drafted in the 5th round?

    He seems to be a fairly well-grounded humble guy, a good Mormon boy.

    Not sure that is the same as where Aguyao came from.

    AND I doubt Gay is changing his swing.