One of the hottest battles this summer has been between Chiefs veteran kicker Ryan Succop and undrafted free agent Cairo Santos. Rarely is the kicker position such a highly contested position but the tremendous leg strength of Santos and some of the shaky outings from Succop last season has been enough to keep the competition in the forefront.
Dave Toub, the Chiefs Deity of Special Teams, was asked how that competition was going and he says it is still a very tight battle.
Q: Has [kicker] spot separated itself at all?
TOUB: “No, it’s still ongoing and we’re going to continue to evaluate as we go. We’ve got two more games left and we don’t have to make that decision yet.”
Toub was specifically asked if Santos’ size and athleticism will come into question when it comes to making a final decision. Toub seemed pretty adamant that it would not.
Q: When it comes to the kickers, how much does athleticism play in. Cairo Santos is smaller and he would be the last line of defense if the returner came through.
TOUB: “That’s not why you keep a kicker because he can cover better. You’ve got enough guys out there that can do that. Athleticism is important for a kicker and we look for that. Size really has nothing to do with it. He’s got so much power in his leg. He’s pretty explosive as small of a stature as he is.”
Should there be a tie it may come down to who has the most trade value. Peter King recently said the Chiefs will probably try to trade one of the two kickers before the cutdown at the end of the preseason. Miami Dolphins beat writer Omar Kelly implied the Dolphins may be keeping their eye on the situation.
To @Jeezy333 the Chiefs have a kicker situation I’ve been told to monitor as well. One good one is coming free from Kansas City.
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 21, 2014
If a trade cannot be worked out, money could become a factor in the decision. While the savings from letting Succop go this season wouldn’t mean too much it would have a significant impact on 2015. Succop has a $3.5 million hit against the cap for 2015 that would go completely away if the Chiefs parted ways with him this season. That extra $3.5 million could go a long way toward creating some wiggle room for the Chiefs next offseason when Alex Smith and Justin Houston will be significantly more expensive.
We’ll see how this plays out but one would think a tie would favor Santos.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs