The NFL can be a tough business, especially when it comes to multiple players competing for one job.
That situation came to a head on Monday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they announced that they had waived Rodrigo Blankenship, ending the team’s kicking competition.
Since Chase McLaughlin is the lone kicker on the roster, the job is now his. Until it isn’t.
The bespectacled Blankenship made waves at Georgia where he won the Lou Groza Award and made all 200 extra points he attempted while there. After spending time with the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, he signed with the Buccaneers this offseason and joined a battle to succeed kicker Ryan Succop, who was released in March after three seasons.
Blankenship and McLaughlin are not strangers to competing against one another. Blankenship beat McLaughlin for the Colts’ job in 2020 and McLaughlin replaced Blankenship as Indy’s kicker in 2022.
“The two players alternated kicks during the first two preseason games, ending up with three extra points attempts and one field goal try for McLaughlin and four field goal attempts for Blankenship,” wrote Scott Smith on the Buccaneers website. “McLaughlin made all of his kicks, including a 48-yard field goal against the New York Jets on Saturday. Blankenship made a 35-yard field goal in each of the two games but also missed wide right on a 55-yard try and hit the left upright on a 32-yard attempt against the Jets.”
NFL fans were bummed to hear that Blankenship missed his shot, literally, to kick for Tampa this season.
— TheBucsFan🟧🟥 (@Oadam93006) August 21, 2023
— Sir Carlton (@JustTheSpeaker) August 21, 2023
— swocky ^-^ (@swocky22) August 21, 2023
To be fair, not everyone was bummed with the news.
as a UGA and bucs fan i’m very sad but it was the right move
— bran (@brunsonfan) August 21, 2023
Yeah, saw this one coming https://t.co/Kg9rQwzkB9
— James Yarcho (@JYarcho_BUCS) August 21, 2023