The Ryan Succop Mystery

March 27th, 2023

Franchise-best kicker.

Doing some research last night, Joe had his Sunday evening ruined.

As we all know last week, the Bucs let go veteran kicker Ryan Succop. After studying the numbers, unless the Bucs somehow acquire or draft an All-Pro kicker, this may turn out to be the dumbest move the Bucs have made since lousy Lovie Smith cut Darrelle Revis.

Joe is not trying to upset anyone at One Buc Palace, but after looking over the numbers, there is no sober excuse to cut Succop. Sorry. Especially given the Bucs’ history of kickers this century.

So Succop couldn’t hit 50-yard field goals? Here’s a novel concept: Don’t play for field goals! One could argue that unless it’s the final seconds of a first half or a game, never should a team try a 50-yard-plus field goal.

Good chance a long field goal is a miss. And that’s basically a turnover at midfield.

So, Joe looked at field goal attempts last year. The most field goal attempts were tried between 40-49 yards (307). Succop was a perfect 12-12 from this distance.

Second-most field goal attempts were from 30-39 yards (281). Succop missed one field goal from this distance (7-8).

Third-most field goal attempts were between 20-29 yards (239). Here again, Succop missed one (10-11).

So let Joe get this straight: Succop missed two field goal attempts inside the 50 the entire season and he got canned??? This is simply irresponsible.

Shoot, it wasn’t that long ago you hoped a Bucs kicker would only miss two field goals in a game! Anyone remember when Roberto Aguayo lined up to boot a game-winning field goal against Carolina in Week 5 of the 2016 season and the Bucs kneeled together in a prayer circle on the sideline?

Last year Succop was 2-7 from over 50. His seven attempts from that distance were the most in his career. Wonder why?

What’s Bucs coach Todd Bowles going to do next, ask Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to get a sack?

In the past 12 seasons, per Jenna Laine of ESPN, the Bucs have gone through 13 kickers who attempted at least one field goal. That’s tied for worst in the NFL with Cleveland and the Los Angeles Chargers. Why? This franchise for whatever reason, cannot recognize and/or develop kickers. That’s all there is to it.

Armed with this knowledge, the Bucs decided to spit in the wind and laugh at the football gods and tossed aside an absolute clutch kicker who finally was able to consistently make field goals for this team.

Bad move. Just bad.

Succop had the highest percentage on field goals in Bucs history, per Scott Smith of

Careful what you wish for.

63 Responses to “The Ryan Succop Mystery”

  1. Derek Says:

    If you have one job you better be able to make a 50 yd field goal these days Joe

  2. SB Says:

    Jake Moody. Just don’t take him in the 2nd Licht Please.

  3. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    What’s Bucs coach Todd Bowles going to do next, ask Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to get a sack?

    I spit up my Big Storm Beer on that one! Good One Joe!

  4. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Don’t forget we let Matt Gay go. Not that I blame them.

  5. I’m not tired anymore because we just won the Super Bowl! Says:

    With the history alone you don’t let go a good kicker like Succop, but he’s at the tail end of his career and the Bucs are at a new beginning. It’s as simple as that. Go Bucs!


    VERY good points raised, JOE. — I found myself being in agreement with this move because in today’s NFL, it just seems like the 50+ yd FG is much more consistently hit.

    That being said, Ryan Succop was extremely reliable. And frankly I do not remember the last time that we had a Kicker that was this reliable, unless we mention……… Matt Bryant.

    Eeeeh. — Yes, now that you mention it, JOE. — This is a less than comfortable move.

    Ryan Succop, THANK YOU for your contributions to a Super Bowl Championship in Tampa Bay.

  7. David Says:

    Could not disagree more.

    He is done. It isn’t just that he can’t hit a 50 yarder, it’s that when he lines up for 43 yarder we have no idea if he’s going to make it or not. The rest of the NFL have kickers that routinely make 50 to 55 yarders.
    He should have been cut last year and they should’ve went with a rookie but because the rookie missed a couple field goals in preseason they went with the shortest kicker in the NFL. They had someone and they let him walk.

    Good move

  8. John Says:

    Gave up on gay too quick…

  9. sasquatch Says:

    3.75 million saved to pay other players. Succop is replaceable, and history is not terribly relevant.

    Jake Verity could be the answer.
    Or… Jake Moody in round 6 or 7.

    Both of those guys are cheap too.

  10. Joe Says:

    It isn’t just that he can’t hit a 50 yarder, it’s that when he lines up for 43 yarder we have no idea if he’s going to make it or not.

    Huh??? Dude was perfect from 40-49 yards out last year.

  11. Crickett Baker Says:

    I agree with every point Joe elaborated upon. I also wanted to know those stats when I first heard about the cut, so TY! PLUS, a kicker can still produce when he is older if he stays in good shape. It is not that demanding of a position. I bet Bowles is gonna regret this move. I know I am unless they know of someone great just waiting in the wings. You just can’t get someone as good as Succop so darn easily as our history screams.

  12. sasquatch Says:

    Succop isn’t special. We should be able to do better.

  13. Mike S Says:

    There’s no mystery. Bucs needed to shed cap.

  14. steele Says:

    Sky is not falling because we lose Succop. They will find a kicker.

  15. westernbuc Says:

    Joe is an analytics guy when it comes to kickers.

    I think when making cap room there’s value in going young and cheap, but since Matt Gay is actually good, I think we can trust Licht on this

  16. westernbuc Says:

    And yes I agree we should not be trying for field goals fifty+. Score touchdowns

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘after looking over the numbers, there is no sober excuse to cut Succop, sorry.’

    Sasquatch … ‘3.75 million saved to pay other players. Succop is replaceable, and history is not terribly relevant.’

    Aahh yes, mystery solved. Now you can go back to the Big Storms Joe.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Westernbuc … ‘since Matt Gay is actually good, I think we can trust Licht on this’.

    OK, you got me curious. Licht drafts him in 2019. Licht keeps him for his rookie season. Licht cuts him. Gay goes on to make the Pro Bowl in 2021 with the Super Bowl champions & now sports a very nice contract.

    Got it. What in there tells any of us that Jason should be trusted when it comes to drafting AND retaining kickers?

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    The dumbest move the Bucs have made since lousy Lovie Smith cut Darrelle Revis

    Mark Dominik’s decision to trade for Revis was undoubtedly way worse, and his subsequent failure to not retain Michael Bennett ranks as a similarly disappointing move.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Sasquatch … ‘Succop isn’t special. We should be able to do better.’

    I doubt that we really can do better; we just can’t afford better.

    Money aside though, we’re rebuilding this year. Ryan Succop, who’ll be 37 come this Sept, isn’t the future. Bucs need to find a Special Teams playmate for Jake Camarda. This is the year to do it.

  21. Clay Says:

    Cap move.

  22. Clay Says:

    Defense rules: a playmate?

  23. garro Says:

    To all the salary cap gurus here….What do you think an “average” NFL kicker is paid? We didn’t save as much cap room as you think and we can’t afford one of those dudes who “routinely” make em from 50+. Hint ….there arent many!

  24. Peskajumba Says:

    I’ve always wondered if there were other reasons we let Matt Bryant go. Maybe, he and his family needed a change after what they went through.
    If that wasn’t a factor, then letting him get away was another sh(t decision.

    Teams can nove money around. Succop was not a cap casualty.

    Jason is probably bothered by his failed attempts to draft a great kicker, too.

    And, when the F did Jamel Dean become one of the best young corners?
    When people who haven’t actually watched him looked at his stats?

  25. Stanglassman Says:

    When other kicker are hitting 60 and beyond regularly you can’t pay a kicker top 5 money 3.7M when he is not good for anything beyond 47. What’s the mystery? Ryan was good inside 45 not even great.

    The real mystery is why didn’t they even consider putting Jake Camarda out there for the longer kicks. He’s use to do both kick and punting duties and he’s all over YouTube nailing extremely long kicks. You’d think once the media ran out of all the fawning questions about Brady they’d ask the obvious questions.

  26. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe is not trying to upset anyone at One Buc Palace, but after looking over the numbers, there is no sober excuse to cut Succop, sorry.

    Joe!! Did you ever think about the fact that we were over the cap and trying to sign players who are more important than the kicker?

  27. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Work Camarda at 50 plus yarders , he can do it , after all he was our best draft pick last year………..

  28. VATom Says:

    Cap casualty. What were his cap numbers and for how much longer? My guess is they wanted a restructure, he refused and they decided he isn’t a team player.


    Dudes getting older and they werent sure range in the 45+ or whatever metric was going to be an issue?

  29. rrsrq Says:

    It’s kicker PTSD, because of so much history of inconsistency, it appears that he was inconsistent, it’s in Jason Licht’s head

  30. adam from ny Says:

    there could be growing pains with any drafted kicker…

    succop was an old vet who had kicking down to a science – as well as having super familiarity with all the league’s stadiums, and their tendencies…

    you can only get that from long time career kickers who stand the test of time in the league…

    it’s a shame he doesn’t have 5-7 more yards in that leg, because he ended the kicking carousel that went on here for many years before him

  31. Beej Says:

    In 2019 we went 7-9. We’d have gone 9-7 if we had a kicker who could make chip shots reliably (otoh, probably wouldn’t have gotten the Goat)

  32. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So……Ryan Succop must have been snapped up by another team immediately….

    Oh wait…..

    Let’s see who picks him up and for how much.

    I’m quite sure they asked him to take a cut and he said….”No”

  33. Irishmist Says:

    Adam makes a good point. Succup is like an old golfer whose familiarity with the courses and good short game keeps him in contention in the lesser events, but no longer has the driving distance to win a major.

  34. Ed Says:

    I believe you are overating Succup. In ’22 his FG percentage was 81%. The NFL average is 86%. Other kickers around the league routinely kick 52-54 yard field goals.

    Since the Bucs signed Succup in 2020 he has missed a total of 9 extra points.

    He is a below average kicker.

    One other number, the average salary for an NFL kicker is $860,000 so why is this a big deal to Bucs fans. They are paying a below average kicker 6 times the salary of the league average.

    Makes sense to me.

  35. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Joe’s underlying assumption, that field goals over 50 yards are a bad bet, is incorrect. in 2022 it averages 74% and, if you look at the 10 best kickers, it averaged 77% (minus Succup). Keep Succup if you want to have a guy who makes chip shots.

  36. Wayne Perez Says:


  37. Cobraboy Says:

    The game has changed.

    50-55yd kicks are common.

    Except for the aging Succop.

    Maybe casuals are so mentally damaged by poor kickers, they will embrace one who is just average.

  38. Geno711 Says:


    According to Spotrac, there are currently 35 kickers signed. Meaning some are going to get cut before the season starts.

    Out of those 35 signed, 20 of them have an average contract under 3.7 million. 13 are under 2 million.

  39. Beej Says:

    “believe you are overating Succup. In ’22 his FG percentage was 81%. The NFL average is 86%. Other kickers around the league routinely kick 52-54 yard field goals”

    That’s because Bowles inexplicably kept asking Succop to make 50+ yard kicks (where he was something like 2 of 9) that everyone knew he couldn’t make.

    As for Succop, I remember when we decided Neil O’Donahue wasn’t good enough, then the guy kicks for the Cards for years. THEN, we decided Matt Bryant wasn’t necessary, dude sets records in Atlanta for a decade. I’m on the fence about Gay, I don’t think it was reasonable to expect him to excel

  40. Ben Harvey Says:

    Having Succop as a kicker made FG attempts less stressful. I think Joe makes a good point. Bowles needs to go for it more on 4th down. That’s on him. Numerous times last year he would send Succop out from 50 plus when he knew full when it wasnt going to work, rather than trust the best QB in the history of the NFL to make a play. Ut was desparate football either way but that is a result of a team that couldn’t score points, otherwise most teams would consider punting and pinning from that range. The offense needs to figure it out this year.

  41. Andrew Fish Says:

    Succop was good in 2022 under 50 yards only missing 2 FG and 1 extra point. he was 2 for 7 on 50+…
    In 2021 he missed 4 fg under 50 and didnt make a 50+ yarder. he missed 3 extra points.
    2020 he missed 2 under 50 was 1 of 2 over 50 and MISSED 5 Extra Points.

    For somebody that cost what he cost as a kicker on a Cap strapped team and cant be counted on past 50 yards you can never miss an extra point and really shouldn’t miss under 50.

  42. ScottyMack Says:

    The Bucs did not lose a single game last year (or any year) because of a Succop missed field goal. The games where he missed were either blowouts or ones that the Bucs won. So, although I would like to have a kicker who was consistent over 50 yds, they are few and far between.

    Really, it comes down to the salary cap. The Bucs are forced to pinch pennies this year and Succop was one of the very few places where they could save $2-3 million.

    Hopefully, Succop is still available in the coming weeks/months and they can re-sign him for a lower salary.

  43. Jeff Says:

    Lol! If Succop played for the Bucs in 2024 and went 30 for 30 on FG’s the Bucs would still finish with 5 wins or less. This team has very little top tier NFL talent. Vea and Wirfs. That’s it.

  44. Nicholas Carlson Says:


  45. Randy Bowers Says:

    Same deal as with Matt Bryant and we know how his career went.Bucs have to be the worst teen for evaluating a kicker

  46. D-Rok Says:

    I agree with CrickettBaker and ScottyMack.

    The only part of his game that truly needs improving is making the extra points, which points to the mental aspect and not physical.

    The coach, KNOWING his strengths and weaknesses (one would hope he knows) kept trying 50+ knowing that is Succop’s weakness. Those failures mostly fall on the coach. IMO, this is akin to asking a corner with 5.0 40 speed to match up with a 4.3 burner at WR – it’s coaching malpractice.

    Adjust your game plans to avoid 50+ yards kicks, Coach.

  47. Canabuc Says:

    One’s ability to kick long field goal is very important. First of all there will be situations where you have a fourth and long at the 35-yard line and punting it when you have a kicker who has a 70% chance of hitting that field goal is three points that you’re missing out on. Whereas you would only be perhaps improving field position by 25 yards by punting. Secondly and something that you haven’t thought of is that if he’s kicking from shorter than 50 and it happens to be windy or cold they may be choosing to punt as well because the kick is now effectively 50 yards or longer and he does not have the range for that. You do realize that if the Bucs last year averaged 3 points more a game that we probably when two more games.

    He also missed some extra points last year which are equal to short field goals. If you ask me. We should have kept Gay a few years back. He was inconsistent yes but most young kickers are. Now he is among the top kickers in the league.

  48. ChiBuc Says:

    And yet, Armstrong remains ST coach, the only constant in all of this inconsistency

  49. SlyPirate Says:


    Discussing kickers every offseason. He’s a kicker. He made $4M. The average is $2.5M. It’s really that simple.

  50. 1#bucsfan Says:

    JOE I’ve bin pounding my table and screaming this. Exactly what you said. Focus on a better offense and getting TDs instead of field goals n then we let go of one of the better kickers we’ve come across. Succup was clutch. He’s up there with Matt Bryant n gramatica yea he doesn’t have the strongest leg but from 45 n closer he’s money. Sorry but for all y’all that want a big leg your strategy for football is garbage. TDs win games more than field goals. Much rather have Tds then fields goals and if we are attempting 50+ then our offense needs to do better

  51. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bloweszo knows that he can’t coach a team to be great on offense, it takes the shine away from his defensive baby. So, yeah, play desperately for long range field goals.

    Why is anyone surprised that Bloweszo would make a foolish move? Game management decisions all through the pathetic 2022 season, driving Brady into retirement, for his only losing season ever.

    Way to go, Toad!

  52. Roc Says:

    Joe don’t be surprised

    BOWLES made this decision and it will only get worse

  53. sasquatch Says:

    Bowles doesn’t make these decisions in the off-season. The front office is responsible for cap management. They HC and GM work together to make these moves and Succop was a potential cap casualty since the season ended. He was an obvious choice for cap cutting.

  54. John Says:

    Geniuses straight geniuses!!!! I’ve said this for over a year now… Idiots!!!
    I have been a bucks fan since 76, 77 and this is the first time ever, I swear the first time that I’m actually finding it hard to have a lot of love for the buccaneers right this moment. I’m certainly not spending a dime to support them and we’ve even given up our club seats. On the 40-yard line within the first half dozen rows, at that….. So……. Idiots I say

  55. Goatfarmer Says:

    Roberto Aguayo is probably available.

  56. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Sorry about my grandson’s nonsense he’s special

  57. Brandon Says:

    March 27th, 2023 at 3:53 am
    The dumbest move the Bucs have made since lousy Lovie Smith cut Darrelle Revis

    Mark Dominik’s decision to trade for Revis was undoubtedly way worse, and his subsequent failure to not retain Michael Bennett ranks as a similarly disappointing move.


    yes. nothing is dumber than going out and spending a 1st and a 3rd and then giving him the largest contract ever given to a CB… who were we competing against? Plus, the guy was coming off a torn ACL That was a beyond awful trade. A free agent’s value is his contract… he made more than any free agent made over the next few seasons… the contract was bad, the trade was bad… Dominik was terrible.

  58. Goatfarmer Says:

    Dumbestnik made a lot of world class stupid moves. The Revis debacle was the worst. The Jets we’re going to release him!

  59. gp Says:

    Relying on your kicker to win games is a losing strategy.
    If said kicker kicks more extra point tries (after a touchdown) than the opposition, you probably win that game.

    #field goals < touchdowns

  60. sasquatch Says:

    John Says:
    March 27th, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    I have been a bucks fan since 76, 77

    if you’ve been a Bucs fan for 45+ years, you would’ve figured out that it’s never been spelled “Bucks”. It’s Bucs… I mean, I’ve heard of slow learning, but this is ridiculous.

  61. unbelievable Says:

    Come on Joe, you know who our head coach is: He would prefer to kick FGs over scoring TDs, so he needs the longest leg possible in his kicker.

    Simple as that.

  62. Says:

    😂 Joe literally said you don’t play for field goals then proceeded complaining about the Bucs cutting an overpaid kicker to save some much needed money… but I had the same sentiments when they cut Succup too, but understood they needed the money & took a gamble that they will find a decent replacement or maybe get lucky and can bring him back on a cheaper deal 🤞

  63. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Couldn’t agree more Joe.

    Going for a 50+ yard field goal probably isn’t a lot better than punting and pinning them deep, or going for it and continuing the drive.

    My guess is the analytics numbers would back this up.

    If you give up those 50+ yarders but are practically guaranteed anything less than that, it is a tradeoff I’d gladly make.