The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't decide who their kicker would be in 2020 until a week before the season began. That shouldn't be an issue in 2021.
On Thursday, the Buccaneers re-signed veteran kicker Ryan Succop, continuing a successful run of bringing back their own free agents from a Super Bowl-winning roster. In addition to Succop, the Buccaneers re-signed wide receiver Chris Godwin, inside linebacker Lavonte David, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches, inside linebacker Kevin Minter and guard Aaron Stinnie.
Brought in last September for a brief competition with second-year kicker Matt Gay, Succop won the job and proceeded to have perhaps the best season ever by a Tampa Bay kicker. Including the postseason, he hit on 37 of his 40 field goal tries in 2020 and was good on 64 of 70 extra point attempts. Succop went 28 for 31 on field goals in the regular season for a success rate of 90.3%, the second highest in team history behind Connor Barth's 92.9% (26 of 28) in 2011. He then went a perfect nine for nine in the playoffs to raise his overall field goal percentage to 92.5%.
Succop finished the regular season with 136 points, sixth-most in the NFL and a new single-season record for the Buccaneers. He made all 20 of his field goal tries from inside 40 yards and spent the majority of the season on a streak of 21 consecutive successful field goals.
With Succop's new deal in place, the Buccaneers expect to have the same kicker on opening day in consecutive seasons for the first time since Barth held the job from 2010-12.
Before coming to Tampa, Succop played five seasons in Kansas City and six in Tennessee. The 2009 "Mr. Irrelevant" as the last player chosen in the draft, Succop won the Chiefs' kicking job as a rookie and made 25 of his 29 field goal tries. His single-season high for field goal percentage came with the Titans in 2016, when he made 22 of 24 attempts for a rate of 91.7%. The following year he hit a career-high 35 field goals in 42 attempts. A knee injury limited him to just six games for Tennessee in 2019 and rendered him largely ineffective when he did play, leading to his release the following March. After fully recovering from that injury during the offseason, he signed with the Buccaneers.
Overall, Succop has made 264 of his 318 field goal tries (83.0%) and 390 of his 405 extra point attempts (96.3%), scoring 1,182 points. While he missed time in 2019, he has played in all 16 games in each of his 11 other NFL seasons. He has also been perfect on field goals in three playoff appearances, one with each of his three teams, making all 13 of his field goal attempts. He punctuated the Buccaneers' scoring in their 31-9 Super Bowl LV win over Kansas City with a 52-yard field goal.