The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a potentially important addition to their roster by officially signing veteran kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.
The news comes just days after it was reported that Blankenship would be trying out with the Buccaneers during minicamp, and now it has been confirmed that he will be joining the team ahead of training camp.
The former Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals kicker has been in the league since 2020 and has an impressive career field goal conversion rate of 83.3 percent. However, his playing time was limited last season due to a torn muscle in his leg, which allowed him to appear in just two games.
Blankenship will now have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot with Chase McLaughlin, who took over as the Colts’ kicker in September of last year after Blankenship was released.
The battle for the Buccaneers’ starting kicker position will undoubtedly be intense, as both players possess the skills and experience necessary to succeed at the professional level.
For Blankenship, this signing marks a fresh start after a somewhat turbulent stint with the Colts. The undrafted rookie out of Georgia had a solid rookie season but faced setbacks in 2021, playing in only five games due to a hip injury.
Now fully recovered from his injury, Blankenship is eager to prove himself once again on the field.
His return to the NFL has not been without a bit of friendly banter. Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield, who attended the University of Oklahoma, couldn’t resist heckling Blankenship during practice.
Mayfield’s Oklahoma Sooners were defeated by Blankenship’s Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 Rose Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal, and it seems the quarterback hasn’t forgotten about it.
Mayfield jokingly told Blankenship, “I still don’t like you,” showcasing the competitive spirit between the two players.
Rodrigo Blankenship with a warm welcome on his first day with the Bucs. Baker Mayfield says, "I still don't like you."
— Kyle Burger (@kyle_burger) June 13, 2023
With the Buccaneers aiming to defend their Super Bowl title in the upcoming season, Blankenship’s addition to the team brings depth and competition to their kicking game.
As training camp approaches, all eyes will be on Blankenship and McLaughlin as they vie for the coveted role of the Buccaneers’ starting kicker in 2023.