Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs: Ryan Succop VS Cairo Santos


The Kansas City Chiefs are underway with their offseason practices and there are a lot of questions in the air about different positions on the team. One topic that isn’t discussed as much is the kicker position.

Right now Ryan Succop is the main kicker on the roster and has spent five years in Kansas City. I recently covered Succop in a player profile, which you can check out here. Succop was the last pick in the 2009 draft and fans have had mixed thoughts on him since his arrival to Kansas City that year.

The Chiefs brought in undrafted free agent Cairo Santos out of Tulane after the 2014 draft. Santos had an impressive career while a member of Tulane’s football squad including the 2012 season where he didn’t miss a single field goal attempt. Santos only missed one point after attempt that year.

Now you probably see where I’m going with this. The Chiefs didn’t bring Santos in for nothing. It’s time for Succop to compete for his spot on the team and show that he’s got what it takes to be the Chiefs’ kicker next season and possibly longer. The team gave him a 5-year contract at the end of 2011 worth $14 million and it’s time for him to show that he’s worthy of that contract.

Last year Succop only missed on six attempts, but I was still never confident in him. Anytime the Chiefs were going for a field goal whether it was 20 or 50 yards away, I didn’t believe in Succop.

Santos, on the other hand, might be good for Kansas City. He had quite the leg during his college football days, which is something that Succop lacks. Santos was able to knock through a 57 yarder (a Tulane school record).

Succop has never been known for his long leg. His longest field goal in 2013 was a 51 yarder and he was 1 for 4 on attempts  50+ yards. Succop has gone 9 for 17 in field goal attempts over 50 yards during his NFL career.

Personally I’d like to see a new kicker in Kansas City. Succop isn’t awful, but like I said above, he’s not the most reliable guy. Kickers miss, but fans should be able to have faith in their kicker especially one that has been on the team as long as Succop has been with the Chiefs.

It’s also worth noting that Succop hasn’t had a lot of competition since he joined the team. His rookie year he beat Connor Barth for the roster spot and since then hasn’t really had to prove himself against anyone. This is the perfect opportunity for Succop to show that he is the franchise kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs.

What do you think? Do you want to see Ryan Succop or Cairo Santos as Kansas City’s kicker in 2014? Leave your comments below, follow us on Twitter, and Like us on Facebook!

Tags: Cairo Santos Kansas City Chiefs Ryan Succop

  • Michael Lizalde

    Lets first start off by saying that its in our nature as Chiefs fans to not trust our kicker. Ever since the kicker that shall remain nameless killed us, we have never trusted our kicker. With that being said, Succop is our man and will not be beat out. Succop has been the most reliable kicker KC has had. He has an 81% average with his worst season being 77%. He’s made 6 field goals in a row that allowed us to win in New Orleans. Santos is a career 78% kicker but that average is highly suspect. In his 4 years, he went 81%, 61%, 100% and 69%. Is that the kind if consistency we want to replace our kicker with? Remember, we already don’t trust kickers, so we want to replace him with a kicker that is either really good, or really really bad?! So let’s get down to why people are down on Succop. His average on kicks over 50 yards drops down significantly. Under 50 he is great, over 50 he is suspect. Santos has great leg strength so he’s being anointed as the next kicker……. Bad move. Last year he was 33% from 50+ yards. Blinded by his 100% season, people have forgot that he’s amazingly inconsistent. So much so, he went undrafted! Kickers are rarely diamonds in the rough. They don’t hide being bad offensive lines or great systems. They are all out there for the world to see. Succop is replaceable. The kicker that will replace him is not in KC this year.

    • Josh Landers

      You have a valid argument but that’s what coaching is for. I’m sure he probably needs a little work on his technique.

  • http://gplus.to/Tarkus Tarkus

    Santos was only 2 of 6 from 50+ yards last year. When you consider one of Succop’s “misses” was actually a block from the side that came so fast, where there was absolutely nothing he could do about it, their percentages were actually the same (2 for 6 vs. 1 for 3).

    Succop gets knocked a lot for his accuracy at 50+, but the fact is, he was a perfect 5 for 5 in 2011-2012. He had two legit misses from that distance last year, but Santos had four (though I have no idea if they were all four his fault).

    Succop is definitely replaceable, but I don’t know if Santos is that guy. It would be a mistake to give Santos the job just to save a little cap space. The position is too important.

    • Todd

      As a Tulane fan that watched all of Santos’s kicks I’d point out that the primary reason he had such a low % over 50 his senior year is that our anemic offense caused the coach to try a lot of desparate attempt field goals. Look at how many of those “over 50″ misses were actually “over 55.” Also look at how many of them were against the wind (a couple of them were). Our coach had him kick a game winning field goal on first and ten from the 25 if that gives you any idea how desperately we were trying to use his leg (because our offense could only move the ball effectively). That, plus a block that was entirely on our bad OL, hurt his stats. He still looked like NFL material his entire senior year other than the missed kick at the end of the bowl game. That’s about the only one I’d really hold against him.

      • http://gplus.to/Tarkus Tarkus

        Okay, but doesn’t Tulane play their home games in a dome? Chiefs kickers have to kick in a lot bad weather. One of the scouting reports I read on Santos is that he doesn’t have a lot of experience in poor weather conditions.

        • Todd

          I think the indoor factor is a more fair critique of his “perfect” junior season. Would he have been perfect outside? That’s an interesting debate, and that’s where I would head with that line of questioning. His senior year, the misses, seemed to have more to do with uber distance. And I’ve seen him make plenty of long kicks outdoors.

  • Juiced

    Let santos do the kickoffs, since he will be so cheap this year. Let succop do the field goals and extra points, IF santos beats him out next year THEN we can put this discussion to rest. It’s not a worthy discussion right now. Succop is one of the most accurate kickers KC has ever had. People don’t respect kickers as much as they should and to only have one on the roster is a mistake, especially if santos can put the ball out the back of the end zone, cuz I rarely have seen succop do it.

    • Josh Landers

      Do you really want to see 2 kickers on the roster when we have 4 te’s and 4 qb’s that have a legit shot at making the roster? I say give it to santos. He has more potential, he’s younger, and cheaper.

      • Juiced

        First off, we will not carry 4 QB’s on the roster (something will happen with IR/PS).

        Also, just because Santos is younger does not mean he has more potential, either. Succop was younger and cheaper than Barth when Succop “beat” him out. Succop was a rookie, and if you look at Barth’s career numbers (84% to 81%) he is better. So stating that he is younger means he’s better or has more potential is incorrect.

        Santos could ease into the NFL position easier if we gave him a year. Competition and experience change everything. For all we know Santos could suck horribly. We don’t know until the season begins officially, but if we had Santos only do kickoffs and ease him into more responsibility next year with FG and XP, then we can talk about getting rid of Succop.

    • Bdiddy

      It’s not about money as much as it is about taking a roster spot away from another player that will get snatched up in a heartbeat when you release them.

      • Juiced

        It’s no different than releasing Flowers. Still a talented player but added little value to our team as a nickel. It’s possible that Santos kicking balls out of the end zone will put our defense in better position to make turnovers, etc. It’s all hypothetical anyways.

        • Bdiddy

          It’s totally different than releasing Flowers. First of all, to say that Flowers brought little value at ANY CB spot is outright incorrect. He was more effective outside when used correctly…he was improving steadily inside. Either way, he was an asset that we WILL MISS.

          Now, choosing Santos over Succop will be less about money (Flowers’ release was all about money) and more about affecting field position on KO’s and increasing FG range. The conundrum comes in deciding whether those benefits will be worth the loss in overall consistency.

          • Juiced

            I in no way said flowers brought little to no value to our team at ANY cb position. So calling that incorrect is really just putting words in my mouth. What I said was at the NICKEL he provided little to no value and that had everything to do with $. That’s it! Even if he was “steadily improving on the inside” like you said he wasn’t worth 9 million dollars to be a nickel and if we are being honest cb’s come and go constantly in the NFL. Hell we already replaced him last year. Just saying.

          • Bdiddy

            There were a couple of ways you could have interpret my response, unfortunately, you read it differently than I meant it.

            You thought I had misinterpreted your initial post as saying that Flowers brought no value at any position, when in fact I didn’t. I knew that you were saying he would only be an inside guy for us and that he brought less value than his cap hit at that position.

            My only point was that, no matter where Flowers lined up, he was an asset, and he will be missed…cap hit notwithstanding.

          • Juiced

            That’s understandable. The good that should come from it is signing Houston and AS11. Plus the even more important signing of charles next year.

  • KCMikeG

    Yes the kickers before Succop sucked but they set the bar entirely too low making him look better good. Problem is Succop’s % decline on 40+ kicks. Only four kickers missed more than he did at 40+ and only two were worse at 50+ attempts. He was 2nd to LAST in longest made AND overall % at 16 of 22 and that doesn’t even take into account how many misses our coaching staff saved him from because they didn’t have the confidence to let him try. He was #22 ranked in 2012 and #23 in 2011 and #32 in 201 missing 6 FG’s every single year. Yes there have been kickers in camp – bodies – never any real competition. Hell last year they brought in some K/P from a community college. I hope Santos is real competition because Succop consistently missing 20% or more of his kicks and leaving 18 points on the field every year for the last four years doesn’t give me any more confidence than our coaches have in him.

  • KCMikeG

    The complete lack of confidence our coaching staff has in his 50+ FG’s has cost us way more games than he has won. Twice alone in the playoff game vs the Colts in January. We passed on a 53 yard FG right before the half which would have resulted in a tied game instead of us being down a FG at the end. Then at the end we went for it on 4th down (and were let down by our over paid lazy WR but that’s another post) on the last play of the game instead of trying a game tying 60 yard FG. That’s enough for me to want to see some real competition for our kicker position. Isn’t there supposed to be competition at all the positions if we want to be be great again? In the last 6 seasons the following made 60+ yard FG’s – Prater, Elam, Carpenter, Brown, Zuerlin, Tucker, Feely, Bryant and Janikowski – Twice! Yet we will regularly pass on 50+ yard attempts. We need to get better at Kicker so I’m thrilled Dorsey is working across the board.