While the quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask in Tampa, head coach Todd Bowles has come to a determination on one of the other high-profile battles for the Buccaneers this summer: kicker. On Monday, Tampa Bay waived veteran Rodrigo Blankenship and, in turn, ended the competition between him and Chase McLaughlin, who is now the lone kicker on the roster.
These two had duked it out for the job throughout the summer. In the aftermath of the Bucs releasing Ryan Succop, the team signed McLaughlin to a deal in March and later brought Blankenship aboard in June. Both appeared in Tampa Bay's two preseason exhibitions and McLaughlin was able to gain the edge in this race over that time. He netted his lone field-goal attempt (a 48-yarder against the Jets on Saturday) on top of all three of his extra-point attempts.
Meanwhile, Blankenship hit 35 yarders in each of the first two preseason games, but also missed two of his three attempts over the weekend. One of them was a 55-yard attempt in the third quarter, but the final miss was more egregious as he hit the left upright on a 32-yard attempt.
McLaughlin entered the league in 2019 as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois. In that time he's made a wide array of stops, including with the Colts where he, coincidentally, replaced Blankenship after he was released. In 16 games played for Indy last year, he converted 83.3% of his field-goal attempts and all 21 of his extra points.
For his career, McLaughlin has netted 78.8% of his field goal and 97.8% of his extra points. Where McLaughlin has particularly shined is his ability to connect from 50-plus yards, hitting 17 of his 21 attempts in his career from 50 yards out or more.