Updated at 9:18 PM with confirmation.
NAPA, Calif. — Early Friday afternoon, Oakland Raiders special teams coordinator Richard Bisaccia was asked if either Giorgio Tavecchio or Eddy Piñeiro had stood out in the kicking competition during the first seven practices of training camp.
“I’d say it’s just a daily grind to be the kicker. It’s a daily grind. Nice try, though.”
Shortly afterwards, Tavecchio was all smiles as he carried a pair of offensive linemen’s shoulder pads into the Oakland Raiders locker room in Napa, Calif., early Friday afternoon.
“I’m just trying to be a good guest,” said the Cal product.
The ever-chipper Tavecchio’s stay with the Raiders was cut short hours later. Per multiple reports — the first coming from the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken — Tavecchio, who stepped in for an injured Sebastian Janikowski in September of last season, has been waived by the Raiders. Tavecchio confirmed that he was waived via text.
Tavecchio had a shaky day at camp, and although he went 6-for-6 on field goals out to 52 yards in isolated special teams work, he nearly missed one over the upright, and came up well short on a 52-yarder during team drive work, looking like he was aiming, rather than just letting fly. He went 4-of-6 on field goals two days ago during isolated special teams work.
Tavecchio, who started his final two seasons for the Golden Bears, had been a regular training camp leg for various teams over the last seven years. He’d signed with the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Raiders. He was claimed off waivers by the Raiders in August of 2014 only to be waived three days later. He then kicked in camp with Oakland in 2015 and 2016.
He made his NFL debut on Sept. 10, 2017, a day after after Janikowski was placed on the injured list with a back injury. Tavecchio hit four of four field goal attempts, including a pair of 52-yarders, in a 26-16 win over the Tennessee Titans. Last year at this time, he was eagerly helping the defensive linemen out by serving as a live tackling dummy.
Tavecchio, in his first professional season went 16-of-21 on field goals last season (76.2 percent) and hit 33 of 34 point-after attempts, with his one miss coming against the Chargers in a 17-16 Week 6 loss, which was long-snapper Jon Condo’s fault.
His longest kick went for 53 yards, just before halftime of what would be a three-point win at Miami in Week 9.
Marquette King — the Raiders’ longtime holder and punter — had held for left-footed kickers his entire career, including Janikowski and Tavecchio, and was originally thought to be the limiting factor in terms of who the Raiders would carry, in terms of kickers. King was let go on March 30, 2018, after Oakland drafted punter Johnny Townsend.
Townsend — like Piñeiro, a Florida product — held for both Tavecchio and the right-footed Piñeiro during camp.
Multiple reports — starting with Gehlkin — also stated that Oakland signed veteran right-footed kicker Mike Nugent, a 2005 second-round pick of the New York Jets. Nugent has kicked for the Jets (2005-08), Tampa Bay (2009), Arizona (2009), Cincinnati (2010-16), the Dallas Cowboys (2017) and the Chicago Bears (2017), while spending time on the practice squad with the New York Giants last season, as well.