Bucs sign PK Murray with Folk struggling

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed kicker Patrick Murray on Monday following a workout that included four other veteran free agents.

The move was announced by the kicker’s agents.

Murray is expected to kick against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in favor of Nick Folk, who has missed five field goals and an extra point over the past two games. Cairo Santos, Mike Nugent, Andrew Franks and Josh Lambo also took part in Monday’s workout.

Murray played for Tampa Bay in 2014, connecting on 20 of 24 field-goal attempts. The 26-year-old kicked in two games for the Cleveland Browns last season, making 1 of 2 field goals and 3 of 4 extra points. He was released by the New Orleans Saints in training camp this year.

Folk won the kicking job coming out of training camp, with the Bucs releasing 2016 second-round pick Roberto Aguayo. Folk to responsibility following last Thursday night’s 19-14 loss to the New England Patriots in which he missed three field goals.

“We left points out there,” Folk said after the game. “We should have won the game, 20-19. This one’s on me.”

The 11th-year veteran had spent the previous seven seasons with the New York Jets and has been known as a highly reliable kicker throughout most of his career.

“It’s just part of business,” Folk said when asked by ESPN about the pending kicker tryouts. “I’ve been through it … many times. It’s just part of the business.

“You have to be able to evaluate yourself, look at it and improve, learn, see what went wrong, make the corrections and move forward. Just go out there and swing. Don’t make it too hard. It’s not real hard when you get down to it.”

Coach Dirk Koetter admitted on Friday that he has been surprised by Folk’s recent struggles.

“When we decided on Nick as our kicker — I’ve told you guys this many times — whoever our kicker is, I’ve got total confidence in him,” Koetter said. “I think Nick was kicking very well up until a week ago. He had a rough day against the Giants, he came back and the one day we kicked in practice [this week] he kicked very, very well. We had no reason to think Nick wasn’t going to kick well last night.”



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