Longtime kicker Nick Folk signs with Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers promised to bring in competition at the kicking position this offseason.

They stood by their word, signing former New York Jets kicker Nick Folk on Saturday to compete with Roberto Aguayo for the starting job.

Folk, 32, who spent the past seven seasons with the Jets before being cut last month, went 27-of-31 (87.1 percent) on field goals last season. His longest kick was from 51 yards. He also went 3-for-3 on field goals from 40 to 49 yards, tied for best in the league, and went 2-of-4 on kicks from 50-plus yards.

In 10 seasons, he's made 81.3 percent of his field goal tries.

A second-round draft pick in 2016, Aguayo struggled as a rookie, making just 22 of 31 field goals (71 percent), the lowest percentage of any kicker in the league. His four field goals from 40 to 49 yards out were tied for 25th in the league, and he made just four of 11 attempts from 40-plus yards.

At the NFL scouting combine last month, Bucs general manager Jason Licht spoke about Aguayo and the desire to improve the kicking situation.

"He's a rookie, 21 years old. He had to learn that he's not doing this for fun anymore," Licht said. "He's got a lot of people depending on him. We'll continue to get competition and look for the best competition for him, or he might be the competition for somebody else. We'll see how that goes. He was young. He's working very hard to get better."

The Jets released Folk on Feb. 23 in a move to free up space under the salary cap. Though he is coming off one of his best years statistically, he missed two extra points, including a costly one in the opener, which the Jets lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 23-22.

Folk played his first three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and was selected to his only Pro Bowl in 2007, his rookie season.

The Bucs traded up into the second round to select Aguayo, making him the highest-drafted kicker since Mike Nugent in 2005 (by the Jets). Bucs coach Dirk Koetter acknowledged, however, that regardless of where Aguayo was selected in the draft, he needed to improve.

"Jason and I have already talked, and I think it's already proven that we have no problem moving on from a draft choice and playing somebody that wasn't drafted. We did it this year. We did it a year ago," Koetter said, referring to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was cut immediately following a DUI arrest.

"When you come in as a rookie, you don't think you know it all, but at the same time, you're like, 'I got here. I'll do whatever got me here so I guess I'm good enough,'" Aguayo said to ESPN in January. "But in the NFL, it's a different league. You're not in college. You can't get by with what you did in college. It's a different league. You're with the best of the best. Sometimes you think it's easy, and you realize that it's not and you've got to do something better, do something more."

Aguayo missed field goals of 33 and 46 yards in Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, before hitting a winning 38-yarder. He did, however, hit four field goals in a Week 11 upset over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

ESPN's Rich Cimini contributed to this report.