Caleb Sturgis has won the kicking job for the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chargers have decided to open the season with Sturgis after cutting Roberto Aguayo on Saturday, It was a close, tough competition but Aguayo will be in the market for a new team.
Source: the Chargers have waived kicker Roberto Aguayo. Veteran Caleb Sturgis will be their kicker to begin the season.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 1, 2018
Sturgis is the player the Chargers gave a two-year contract this offseason, and that could have led to him winning the job. He certainly didn’t do it on the field, at least not in preseason games.
While Aguayo didn’t miss a kick in the preseason, Sturgis missed one in the first game. Still, Anthony Lynn and his staff apparently felt comfortable going with him.
This is the second year in a row in which Lynn has had a difficult decision to make at kicker. Last season, he kept Younghoe Koo over Josh Lambo. That proved to be a poor decision a Koo didn’t even last half the season and Lambo went on to have a successful season kicking for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Chargers wanted to get this choice right, which is why it went right down to the last moments of the preseason. Though Aguayo won the final preseason game with a 26-yard kick to beat the San Francisco 49ers, it woesn’t enough to fend off Sturgis.
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While Aguayo has become a run-on joke in the world of kicking, mainly because he’s a former second-round pick, Sturgis hasn’t been a whole lot better. The Chargers will be the third team for Sturgis, who has made just 81 percent of his career kicks.
That includes going 13-for-24 from over 50 yards.
Perhaps it was the contract they gave him, perhaps Lynn liked what he saw in practices more from Sturgis than he did from Aguayo. But based on multiple reports and what we saw in preseason, Aguayo won this competition, and Lynn went with the other guy anyway.
For a team that lost more than one game because of poor kicking a year ago, the kicking position hasn’t been put under a microscope such as this in some time. Let’s just hope that Lynn didn’t just make the same mistake he did a year ago.
One thing is for sure, Chargers fans are going to be sitting on pins and needles the first time Sturgis trots out for a field-goal attempt.