Cairo Santos said he was aware of which placekickers were having bad seasons, so he paid particular attention to the Bucs.
When the Bucs’ Chandler Catanzaro missed two field goals in Sunday’s 16-3 loss to Washington, he anticipated getting a call from the team that he had worked out for two weeks earlier.
“I knew I’ve had five workouts and my name was being called a bunch so I knew an opportunity would come and you’re aware of how kickers are doing throughout the season so you sort of know what spots could open up,” Santos said. “I hate to see that, knowing a lot of these guys on a personal level and we train together. So you hate to see that but it’s part of this brutal business. … I’ve been cut before, so I know the feeling. But I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Santos kicked parts of four seasons for the Chiefs. But last season, he suffered a groin injury. Although he visited the Bucs in 2017, he wasn’t able to kick.
He kicked two games for the Rams, going 5-of-6 on field goals and 5-of-6 on extra points. But Santos said he had a good workout with the Bucs two weeks ago.
“This past year was my first time being a free agent due to the injury so I was able to visit here actually last year and it was a top team I wanted to play for and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to come here with everything that happened and bounced around a little bit,” Santos said. “So to come full circle and land with my top priority team is was a blessing. It’s really special.
“I’ve been healthy since August. I had a good time with the Rams a couple weeks ago. No concerns with that. I had a great workout here two weeks ago so I’m looking forward to getting it going.”
According to Santos, it’s a bonus to kick for a team with a high powered offense.
“I feel great,” he said. ” I’ve been watching these guys, (long-snapper) Garrison Sanborn and (punter/holder) Bryan (Anger), for a couple weeks now to see how they operate. I feel like I’m coming into a great spot. They’re very good what they do. I’m looking forward to today and getting in sync with them. I love kicking for a good offense. I got to play for the Rams, Chiefs and kicking a lot. It’s something I’m used to and hopefully we get a lot of extra points going instead of field goals.”
Santos doesn’t buy into the Bucs kicking curse.
“I’ve played in some tough places. I spent three and a half years in Kansas City, Chicago,” he said. “So I’m used to the elements and it’s much colder than you normally get in places. Wind, so I’ve learned to hit a straight ball and my consistently is what describes me the best. I’m looking to come in and be myself and help the team.”