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Bucs Waive Rodrigo Blankenship, Ending Kicker Competition

Chase McLaughlin appears to be the Bucs' choice at placekicker after Rodrigo Blankenship was waived on Monday… McLaughlin made all of his kicks in two preseason games, including a 48-yard field goal


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have ended a preseason head-to-head competition for their 2023 placekicking  job, waiving Rodrigo Blankenship and leaving Chase McLaughlin as the lone kicker on the roster.

McLaughlin and Blankenship had been battling to succeed kicker Ryan Succop, who was released in March after three seasons with the team. The Buccaneers signed McLaughlin in March as an unrestricted free agent and then added Blankenship in mid-June. Coincidentally, both kickers previously played for the Indianapolis Colts; in fact, Blankenship won a training camp battle with McLaughlin for the Colts' job in 2020, and McLaughlin replaced Blankenship as Indy's kicker after one game in 2022.

The two players alternated kicks during the first two preseason games, ending up with three extra points attempts and one field goal try for McLaughlin and four field goal attempts for Blankenship. McLaughlin made all of his kicks, including a 48-yard field goal against the New York Jets on Saturday. Blankenship made a 35-yard field goal in each of the two games but also missed wide right on a 55-yard try and hit the left upright on a 32-yard attempt against the Jets.

The Buccaneers signed McLaughlin in large part due to his success at longer field goals, as the team had lacked that aspect in their kicking game in recent seasons. McLaughlin made nine of 12 tries from 50 yards and beyond for the Colts in 2022 and is an impressive 17 of 21 from that distance in his career. Overall, he has made 78.8% of his field goal attempts (67 of 85), including 83.3% last year. He's 88 of 90 in his career on extra point attempts, which are now the equivalent of 33-yard field goals.

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