Kaeding Gets NFL Deal With Bucs

By Mike Hlas, Reporter

San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding (10) is congratulated by punter Mike Scifres (5) after kicking a field goal during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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By Grant Burkhardt

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Nate Kaeding signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday morning.

Kaeding, the former All-America collegian from Iowa, and Iowa City West, is a 9-year NFL veteran. He had spent his entire career with the San Diego Chargers until getting waived in midseason. He was signed for the last two games of the season by the Miami Dolphins.

Nothing is guaranteed for Kaeding in this deal. Connor Barth is the Bucs’ incumbent kicker. He has been on the team for the last four seasons, and set the franchise-record for consecutive field goals made with 25. He was 28-for-33 last year with a long field goal of 57 yards and six from 50-plus.

But the Bucs invited Kaeding to Tampa this week, and he had dinner with new Bucs special teams coordinator Dave Wannstedt Monday night. Wannstedt is a former NFL head coach who joined Greg Schiano’s Tampa Bay staff two months ago.

“I’m real excited,” Kaeding said. “It’s a good division (the NFC South) for a kicker with two domes (New Orleans and Atlanta), and good weather in Tampa.

“The market for kickers was lukewarm at best so I was kind of biding my time. This seemed like the best option going into camp. I think it’s a great fit.”

Kaeding has made 181 of 210 career NFL field goals for 86.2 percent. Twelve of his 22 kickoffs last year were touchbacks.

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