The New England Patriots’ season will come to an end in two weeks, but that does not mean that emergency lists cannot still be updated and a look taken at potential future acquisitions. The team did just that on Monday, as first reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, when it brought veteran placekicker Roberto Aguayo in for a free agency visit.
Aguayo originally entered the NFL as a second-round draft choice by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2016 — the first kicker picked that high since the New York Jets selected Mike Nugent in Round Two back in 2005. Despite his draft pedigree, however, he was slow to adapt to playing in the NFL and finished his rookie season with only 22 successful field goal kicks on 31 attempts (71%) as well as 32 extra points (of 34; 94.1%).
Tampa Bay decided to bring some competition in the following offseason, signing Nick Folk in free agency. Aguayo eventually lost his job to the veteran, and was released during the 2017 preseason. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears the next day, but let go again by the team after missing his lone field goal try during the exhibition portion of the schedule. He subsequently joined the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad.
In 2018, Aguayo signed with the Los Angeles Chargers but he again failed to find a permanent home — despite going 3-for-3 on field goals and 6-for-6 on extra points during the preseason. Since his release that September, Aguayo has been out of the league. He tried to make a comeback in the new XFL, but despite entering this year’s inaugural draft was not among the 560 players selected.
Now, New England is giving him another opportunity to at least show he can still play at an NFL level.
The Patriots currently have two kickers under contract, one of them the aforementioned Nick Folk. The 36-year-old has been one of the most reliable kickers in the league this season, having gone 25-for-27 on field goals and 26-for-28 on extra points. He will, however, become a free agent next spring. Justin Rohrwasser, meanwhile, remains on the practice squad despite New England selecting him in the fifth round of the draft earlier this year.