TAMPA – The Buccaneers are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to find a kicker to replace the beleaguered Nick Folk. They’re even looking at kickers who aren’t capable of kicking right now.
Source have confirmed that the Bucs will take a look at former Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos, who is currently out with an adductor sprain but could be ready to kick again by the start of November.
The news come as the field has been set for the workout that will likely determine whether the Bucs let go of Folk or give him another chance to redeem himself.
In addition to Santos, the Bucs will work out Mike Nugent, Andrew Franks and Josh Lambo during a workout Monday at One Buc Place.
Nugent is the most experienced of the three but his accuracy rate of 80.3 since 2013 doesn’t quite measure up to that of Folk, who had hit on 86.7-percent of his field goals tries prior to this year.
Franks and Lambo have been in the league for only two years, Franks hitting on 29 of 37 field goal tries (78.4-percent) for the Dolphins while Lambo hit on 52 of 64 (81.3-percent) for the Chargers.
The Bucs are contemplating whether to make a change after Folk missed field goals attempts of 31, 49 and 56 yards during their 19-14 loss to the Patriots on Thursday, extending a slump that began a week earlier.
Folk missed two field goals and an extra point but hit the 34-yard game winner to beat the Giants in a 25-23 victory in Week 4 but he has now left 16 points on the field in the past two games alone.
With a mini-bye week to sort things out the Bucs are in no rush to move on from Folk and it’s possible he could survive, at least in the short term, if none of the kickers impress during the workout.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said last week that Folk’s slump “came out of left field,’’ adding that his work in games has not mirrored what the team has seen from him in practice.
“I think Nick was kicking very well up until a week ago,’’ Koetter said. “He had a rough day against the Giants, then he came back the one day we kicked in practice last week and he kicked very, very well.
“We had no reason to think Nick wasn’t going to kick well (against the Patriots). That first one right before the half, the 56-yarder or whatever it was, it was pretty windy down there.
“I actually thought long and hard, in the few seconds you have to think about it, (about) throwing for the end zone instead of trying the kick, but Nick actually had made a 56-yarder in practice earlier in the week.
“So that’s a bonus if you get that kick. We got a couple penalties to even get a chance at that kick. But there were a couple there that you’re expecting him to make.
“So when I say we’re disappointed today at the (scoring) opportunities that we missed, that’s at a lot of different positions and that’s certainly one of them.’’