Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Shedding light on Bucs' kicker situation

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

 Bryant
 Nugent

There were a lot of raised eyebrows when the Bucs signed free-agent kicker Mike Nugent earlier this offseason. Tampa Bay already had one of the league's top kickers in Matt Bryant, so why did they need another guy?

The Bucs have said all along they're trying to create competition at all positions. Take them at their word on this. Bryant, who showed up Tuesday after missing much of the offseason, said he's ready for a battle in training camp.

This battle could turn out to be very interesting. On the surface, it may look like the Bucs want Nugent to win the job since they gave him a $2.4 million contract. That's basically double what Bryant is scheduled to make. But you have to look at the details of Nugent's contract to really understand this situation.

None of Nugent's money is guaranteed and the Bucs could be off the hook for the entire amount if they release Nugent. The guess here is that the Bucs brought in Nugent to push Bryant a bit. But they'd be delighted if Bryant rose to the challenge and won the job in camp.