Buccaneers Release Record-Breaking Super Bowl Champ

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving on from a key member of their Super Bowl LV team.

The Buccaneers announced the release of kicker Ryan Succop on Thursday, March 23, after three seasons with the team, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. The release saves the Buccaneers $3.75 million.

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a new kicker in 2023, with the Bucs’ salary cap purge now including the release of Ryan Succop, the team announced Thursday,” says Laine. “The move saves the Bucs $3.75 million in salary cap space.”

Why the Buccaneers Are Cutting Ryan Succop

During the 2021 offseason, Succop signed a three-year, $12 million contract extension. The deal came on the heels of an effective 2020 season that saw the veteran kicker convert on 28-of-31 attempts (90.3%) while scoring 136 points — the most in a single season in Buccaneers franchise history.

However, it became clear that Succop’s lack of range from beyond 50 yards became an issue. Following the Buccaneers’ season-ending loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs, head coach Todd Bowles stressed his desire to have a kicker who can convert from long distance.

Via Greg Auman of Fox Sports:

“Ryan was very efficient this year, but we’ve got to be able to kick longer field goals than we’ve kicked,” Bowles said back in January. “I think we’ve got to get past 47 yards, be able to kick from 50, 55 yards as well.”

Succop went just 2-for-7 on field goals beyond 50 yards last season, the worst mark in the league. It’s actually a range that Succop has struggled with during his entire career, as he’s gone just 23-for-47 (48.9%) from beyond 50 yards since entering the league in 2009.

By comparison, top kickers as such as the Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker (71.3%), the Atlanta Falcons’ Younghoe Koo (80%) and the Las Vegas Raiders’ Daniel Carlson (82.7%) excel from long distance.

Succop Leaves Bucs as Franchise Record Holder

While Succop will be looking for a new team, he’ll not only depart the Buccaneers holding the single-season franchise record for points, he’ll also leave as the most accurate kicker in franchise history.

Via Auman:

“After three years in Tampa, Ryan Succop leaves as the most accurate field-goal kicker in Bucs history — went 84-for-99, or 84.8 percent.” said Auman. “That breaks the mark previously held by Connor Barth, who hit 83.8 percent.”

As mentioned by Laine, the Buccaneers haven’t had stability at the kicker position in well over a decade. They’ve had 13 players attempt at least one field goal kick since the 2009 season. That’s tied for the most of any NFL club.

“Since 2009, the Bucs have had 13 players attempt at least one field goal in a regular-season game, tied for the most in the league with the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Chargers, according to ESPN Statistics & Information research,” said Laine.

With the Buccaneers now looking for a new kicker, the top free agents at the position are former Pro Bowl Robbie Gould and longtime Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby — each of whom entered the league in 2005.

Instead of signing a veteran kicker, Tampa Bay could end up targeting a kicker in the 2023 NFL draft.


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