Lunsford signed a future contract with the Bucs in January but was let go once Tampa Bay agreed to a deal with veteran Nick Folk in March. Now in Seattle, the Liberty product will compete with Blair Walsh for what will likely be one roster spot.
The much-heralded 2016 second-round pick from FSU had a rocky start to his NFL career, making just 71 percent of his 31 field-goal attempts, worst in the league in 2016. Aguayo's problems were largely centered on kicks of 40-plus yards, a distance from which he was only 4-for-10 despite his longest attempt on the season coming from just 43 yards away. It was a stark contrast his storied college career, one that saw him win the Groza Award and leave the Seminoles as the most accurate kicker in NCAA history. Aguayo certainly has the pedigree to right the ship, however, and also can look to two of the league's longest-tenured and most successful kickers, fellow FSU alumnus Sebastian Janikowski and Stephen Gostowski, for inspiration. The former went 22-for-32 in his rookie season in 2000 after enduring even more pressure as a first-round pick, while the latter was successful on just 70 percent of his attempts in his first season as well. Folk certainly serves as formidable competition for Aguayo, though, considering his proven track record and the fact that he boasts success rates of between 81.3 and 91.7 percent on his attempts over the last four seasons.
Lunsford's release comes after the Bucs recently signed veteran Nick Folk to compete with the much-maligned Roberto Aguayo, thus making him expendable as the team's third kicker.
Folk put together a solid season in 2016 by converting 27 of 31 field goals and his numbers could have looked even better considering three of his four missed attempts were blocked. Meanwhile, Roberto Aguayo, who the Bucs traded up to select in the second round of last year's draft, was true on just 22 of 31 attempts in what ultimately was a disappointing campaign for a kicker selected so high. While it's fair to wonder whether the hefty expectations placed upon the rookie are to blame for his first-year struggles, Aguayo still failed to perform at a league-average level and could find himself dueling with Folk for the starting job in training camp this summer if he's unable to turn things around.
Zuerlein attempted only 22 field goals in 2016, but was able to convert 19 of them and was perfect from inside of 40 yards. The kicker's deal will keep him with the Rams through the 2019 season. At this point, the main thing limiting Zuerlein's fantasy production is the Rams offense, which was last in the league in both yards and points per game last season.
Catanzaro was afforded multiple game-winning field-goal attempts last season, namely in Week 1 against the Patriots and Week 7 versus the Seahawks, but he was unable to connect. By season's end, he was successful on just 21 of 28 field goals and 43 of 47 extra points, barely eking out triple-digit points for the third consecutive campaign. The Cardinals signaled that they may be moving on with Thursday's signing of veteran placekicker Phil Dawson, but there's a chance Catanzaro could re-sign at a lesser price than the aforementioned RFA tender in order to let the best man take the role in 2017.
Among the 14 field-goal misfires in Catanzaro's three-year career, five of them occurred in the cozy confines of University of Phoenix Stadium last season, contributing to a success rate of 75 percent in that realm. He also hit just 91 percent of his extra points from the longer distance over the last two campaigns, but perhaps the move to the outdoors will be beneficial for the 26-year-old kicker. First, though, he'll have to outlast Ross Martin to land the Jets' No. 1 placekicker gig.
Barth will remain in Chicago for a second season after converting 18 of 23 field-goal attempts (78.3 percent) and 31 of 32 extra point attempts last year.
The 49ers decided to get a bit younger at the kicker position, letting 42-year-old Phil Dawson walk in favor of the 35-year-old free agent. Gould was the model of consistency with the Bears prior to being released last season. He latched on with the Giants and proved that he was still a reliable option, hitting all 10 of his field goal attempts (albeit none of the 50-plus variety). The 49ers were one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the NFL last year, but if their new GM and head coach can improve the offensive output, then Gould could be a consistent fantasy contributor in an era where reliable kickers have been few and far between.
Dawson continues his nearly two-decade trek as an NFL kicker, joining the third organization of his career. He's been afforded the opportunity following a subpar season from Chandler Catanzaro, a restricted free agent who connected on just 21 of 28 field goals last season. Falling below that mark (75 percent) twice in 18 campaigns, Dawson's veteran presence could be a determining factor for the No. 1 job, if Catanzaro is retained.