The Tampa Bay Buccaneers thought they had a solid kicker lined up for the 2013 season after they signed Nate Kaeding to a one-year deal, but that won’t be the case. Kaeding has decided to retire from the NFL after nine seasons, citing a chronic groin injury.
Kaeding will unfortunately be remembered as a kicker who was great in the regular season, and the exact opposite in the postseason. Several times during his career in San Diego, he missed crucial playoff field goals that may have cost the Chargers their best chance at winning a Super Bowl. Kaeding’s key misses came while LaDainian Tomlinson was in his prime, and the Chargers have never really made it back to that level since.
But when it came to normal Sundays, Kaeding was money. He was all but automatic, and his career made-FG percentage of 86.19, is good for fourth all-time.
The Bucs are now left with a void in their kicking game, and I’m sure this will throw a wrinkle into their plans for 2013. But if Kaeding just wasn’t 100% anymore, they’re better off to move on now.
Kaeding was recently asked in an interview if was one one of those guys who would kick into his 40’s, and he said ‘no.’ He said he envisioned himself kicking a few more years for a contender, but it appears that wasn’t in the cards.
Now, he’ll likely focus on becoming more a business man. He’s an owner of bar/restaurant in his hometown of Iowa City, called Shorts. They serve local brews on tap, and now it looks like Kaeding will have a little more time to enjoy a few cold ones.
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