Undrafted Tulane kicker Cairo Santos signed a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday evening.
Santos, who won the Lou Groza Award in 2012 after hitting all 21 of his field goals, will compete with five-year incumbent Ryan Succop. Succop went 22-for-28 on field goals last season and has connected on 81 percent for his career. His success rate of 78.6 percent in 2013 ranked 28th out of 32 starting kickers.
“I’m just excited to sign with the Chiefs and be in a fair competition to win the job,” Santos said. “They were very honest. They said whoever wins the job at the end of camp will win the job. That’s pretty much the opportunity that I was looking for.”
Santos, a native of Brazil, was far from perfect as a senior. He missed seven of his 23 field-goal attempts, including a 48-yarder that would have tied the game against Louisiana-Lafayette with nine seconds left in the New Orleans Bowl. All of his miscues came after he dealt with the death of his father in a stunt-plane accident in September. Before that tragedy, he extended his streak to 26 consecutive field goals.
The only two kickers taken in the draft were Zach Hocker of Arkansas and Nate Freese of Boston College on consecutive seventh-round picks. Santos said he felt it was better to get to choose his destination than be picked at that point anyway.
Tulane defensive tackle Chris Davenport, a graduate student transfer from LSU, signed with the Washington Redskins, while cornerback Jordan Sullen signed with the Denver Broncos.