The competition through training camp and the preseason was very close, but the Chiefs ended up cutting Succop. Kansas City probably had little to separate the two, as both made all of their field goal and extra-point attempts.
The difference may have been salary. Succop was due $2 million this season while Santos will make $422,000.
Succop ends his five-year Chiefs career as the most accurate field goal kicker (81 percent) in team history.
Born in Brazil, Santos starred at Tulane before signing with the Chiefs as competition for Succop, who missed a costly field goal last season against San Diego. The two of them engaged in a sometimes entertaining duel for the job, often ending practice with a World Cup-style shootout while the entire Chiefs team watched from the sideline.
Succop may have been slightly more accurate. Santos clearly had the stronger leg. Combine that with all the financial ramifications of the decision and Santos got the nod.
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Santos also becomes the smallest player on the roster.
"Size really has nothing to do with it," Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub said. "He's got so much power in his leg. He's pretty explosive as small of stature as he is."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.