A rejuvenated Roberto Aguayo believes he is ready for another chance to kick in the NFL. And if it happens for him, he could thank an anonymous Bears staffer for helping along the way.
Bleacher Report’s Mirin Fader dives deep into what went wrong for Aguayo in a must-read feature piece. Aguayo opened up about his struggles on the field having lost his mechanics, and off of it as he struggled through a deep depression away from the game. It’s worth clearing some time in your day to read about a once-hot prospect who is battling his way back into the game.
Interestingly, one helping hand was a Bears employee who recommended Aguayo read and watch “Seven Days in Utopia,” a tale about a golfer who struggled mightily in his debut as a pro. And it’s apparent that Aguayo learned some lessons along the way, with Fader taking note: “That’s when Aguayo realized that he has always defined his self-worth through making kicks. Not his work ethic or his character.”
Aguayo read up on the mental side of the game thanks to the recommendation of a Bears employee. And while he ultimately lost the kicking battle to Connor Barth, his time in Chicago opened him up to re-work his swing and mechanics after the team let him go without the pressure of winning a competition. Aguayo has had solid workouts with the Panthers and Chargers since leaving the Bears, but hasn’t locked down a job. But perhaps his time will come sooner, rather than later. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago when Aguayo was the must-have kicking prospect in football.
If you recall, Aguayo was a three-time first-team All-American, Lou Groza Award winner, and successful on 69-of-78 field goal attempts during his collegiate career, which positioned him nicely to be football’s next great kicker when he left school after his junior year to enter the 2016 NFL Draft. The Buccaneers liked him so much, they traded up in the second round of the draft to take him with the 59th overall pick. Unfortunately, things spiraled from there. But his football journey doesn’t appear to be over. And if he has found his stroke again, then it will only be a matter of time until he has a new home.
“People are probably like: ‘Oh, he’s done. He can’t do it anymore,'” Aguayo said. “No. I did it at a high level in college. I never got a chance to show it again. I know I can. I’m hitting the ball well now. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of opportunity.
“I’m ready now. I’m confident. I found myself.”
Anyone know a team in search of a kicker?
Eh … while the Bears are a fit for any kicker with a history of success in their past, they already had Aguayo in their camp. I can’t see them bringing him back, even if he believe he truly is fixed. Maybe they’ll consider it – after all, it wouldn’t be a “no stone left un-turned” effort if they left a stone un-turned … right? – but I think they’re still holding out hope for more of a sure thing.