The New England Patriots have been eliminated from postseason contention, yet they are still hosting free agents. What’s even more notable is the latest potential signee to work out for the team is kicker Roberto Aguayo.
The Patriots had kicker Roberto Aguayo in for a visit. Aguayo was a second-round pick of the Buccaneers in 2016 out of Florida State.
Veteran Nick Folk has been one of the bright spots for the Patriots in 2020, and so a look at Aguayo might be with future planning in mind.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 21, 2020
The Patriots’ most consistent performer the entire season has arguably been kicker Nick Folk. The Patriots aren’t thinking of parting ways with him, are they?
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Roberto Aguayo Was Once a Big Deal
Back in 2016, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Aguayo in the second round. He was considered one of the best kicking prospects in years coming out of Florida State where he won the Lou Groza award back in 2013.
Despite the hype, Aguayo had a rocky rookie season. He’d signed a four-year deal with the Bucs, but after converting just 22 of 31 field-goal attempts, the Bucs (oddly enough) signed Folk to compete with Aguayo for their kicking job.
Aguayo faltered in the preseason and was cut and the Bucs went with Folk. The Chicago Bears signed Aguayo, but he never played in a regular-season game for them or any other team. Aguayo has essentially been trying to get another NFL opportunity since his rookie season.
He’s considered one of the biggest busts at his position in recent memory, but perhaps he can rewrite his story if given an opportunity.
Folk Has Been Money All Year, But…
During the 2020 season, Folk has been excellent for the Patriots. The 36-year-old veteran has converted 25 of 27 attempts with a long of 51 yards. He’s won two games for the Patriots with his leg and has been about as steady as any kicker in the NFL not named Justin Tucker.
That said, Folk is only signed through the end of this season. Because of the solid year he’s had, there is a chance he could garner more than the Patriots are willing to pay next season.
If that’s the case, the Patriots could be lining up potential replacements
What About Justin Rohrwasser?
It’s easy to wonder about the development of Patriots rookie kicker Justin Rohrwasser. Many expected the fifth-round pick to step in and claim the job in the Patriots’ abbreviated training camp. Unfortunately, he battled injuries and inconsistencies, and he’s yet to kick in an NFL game.
Throughout the season, the Patriots have kept Rohrwasser on the practice squad.
With the Patriots bringing in Aguayo for a workout, it makes you wonder if Rohrwasser is showing any promise as a member of the practice squad. Even if the team is planning to move on from Folk, it would make more sense if the plan was to hand the opportunity to Rohrwasser. If anything, the Patriots appear to be setting up a kicking competition at the least.
New England would undoubtedly prefer for Rohrwasser to show tremendous growth between now and the start of the 2021 season. If he does show the promise that convinced the team to use a draft pick on him, the Aguayo workout won’t be remembered.
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