TAMPA – Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has never been slow to admit to a mistake and move on from it, particularly when it comes to personnel decisions he’s made in the draft or free agency.
Licht proved that right out of the box in 2015 when he dumped defensive end Michael Johnson and left tackle Anthony Collins within a year of signing them to lucrative free-agent deals neither could justify.
He’s ready to prove it again now with kicker Roberto Aguayo, who will leave a lasting stain on Licht’s legacy if he doesn’t live up to his status as a 2016 second-round draft pick.
The decision to bring in veteran kicker Nick Folk to push Aguayo means Licht is ready to move on should Aguayo continue to struggle, but it doesn’t mean Licht regrets his decision to draft Aguayo so high.
In fact, the only regret Licht has regarding Aguayo, whom he traded back into the second to get, is that he didn’t bring in someone like Folk to push him for his roster spot sooner.
“If I could go back and do one thing over it would have been to get him some competition,’’ Licht told Adam Schein, the host of “Schein on Sports’’ on SiriusXM Radio.
“We feel competition always brings out the best. We did that this offseason by bringing in Nick [Folk] who is an accomplished kicker in the NFL and has made some big kicks in the NFL and has a pretty good resumé.
“So, we will see how it shakes out. I’m not too proud to say that we need to go in a different direction with any of our players that we draft or sign, and (Aguayo) is not going to be any different.’’
It seems a bit odd, but we’ve said it here before; when training camps open up, the competition between Aguayo and Folk will prove to be one of the more fascinating position battles anywhere in the league.
It’s not often you say that about a battle between two kickers, but when you consider the consequences for Licht and with Hard Knocks watching every move, even non-football fans will be anxious to see how this one turns out.