Three years and two days after the Bucs infamously traded a third-round pick to move back into the second round to make Aguayo the highest-drafted kicker since Mike Nugent in 2005, they selected Matt Gay out of Utah in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft on Saturday.

Coach Bruce Arians’ response when asked about the move moments later on ESPN?

“We need to score more points,” he said.

“Kicker’s a very important position. It’s one of the most important positions on the team. Right now, we have a coach that really believes in kickers and the importance of it, [he] stresses it,” said general manager Jason Licht, who drafted Aguayo along with previous Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter.

“When Bruce was hired, we had several discussions about what we were going to do to refine the ways that we do things in terms of finding a good kicker.”

When asked if Aguayo’s struggles and the pressure he played under as a high draft pick gave him pause about drafting another kicker — a position many teams choose to address in free agency and by holding kicking tryouts — Licht pointed to other positions.

“You wouldn’t say the same thing for a receiver, if a receiver didn’t work out a couple years ago that you took in the second round, would you be afraid to take a receiver in the fifth round? No,” Licht said. “This is a very, very important position.”

The Bucs have had 10 kickers kick in at least one regular-season game since 2009, tied with the Chargers for the most in the NFL. Even Gay admitted he was surprised when his phone rang so early.

“Honestly, kind of what I was seeing and what I felt was maybe sixth to seventh round, maybe even undrafted,” Gay said. “So when I got the call, I looked at the board, it was a Tampa number and I looked at the board and saw that they were two picks away and was kind of like, ‘No way, not right now.’ Just kind of shocked and overcome with emotion. It was amazing, honestly.”

Kickers shouldn’t be drafted that high, period. 

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