Cairo Fernandes Santos (born 12 November 1991) is a Brazilian-born American football placekicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Tulane, and was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Santos also played for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams.
Santos in 2015
|No. 5 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Born:||12 November 1991|
Limeira, São Paulo, Brazil
|Height:||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight:||160 lb (73 kg)|
|High school:||St. Joseph Academy|
(St. Augustine, Florida)
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018|
He is the first Brazilian born player in NFL history.
Born in Limeira, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and raised in Brasilia, the capital, since 4 years old, where his father worked as a pilot for Varig. Santos was unfamiliar with American football until he moved to St. Augustine, Florida, as a foreign exchange student. Originally, Santos planned to stay at St. Joseph's Academy for one year to learn English, but soon found that the kicking skills he had developed playing soccer in Brazil translated well to field goal kicking in American football. With the opportunity to earn a college scholarship, Santos remained in Florida, sharpening his kicking skills through high school.
Santos committed to Tulane on 22 January 2010. Santos also received interest from Georgia Tech, Jacksonville, and Miami (OH). Santos played in all 12 games his freshman year and was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and was honorable-mention All C-USA after leading the Green Wave in points scored while making 13 of his 16 field goal attempts, 32 of his 33 PATs, and handling kick off duties. In his sophomore season, Santos played in all 13 games and finished second on the team in scoring making 11/18 field goals and 33/34 PATs while handling kickoffs and punting duties averaging 41 yards a punt.
The 2012 was a breakout season for Santos as he went 26 of 27 on PATs (his only miss was blocked) and a perfect 21 of 21 on field goals, including a school record 57-yard field goal. He became only the second kicker to make at least 20 in a season without a miss. 12 of those field goals were from 40-plus yards and 2 from 50-plus and 31 of his 55 kickoffs went for touchbacks. At the end of the season, Santos was named consensus All-American and received the Lou Groza Award for the nation's most outstanding placekicker.
Santos went on to compete in the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he connected on a 39-yard field goal and recorded one tackle on a kickoff return.
Kansas City ChiefsEdit
2014 season: rookie seasonEdit
Santos was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs on 19 May 2014. He was named the Chiefs kicker on 30 August 2014, beating veteran Ryan Succop for the position. On 7 September 2014, he became the first Brazilian born player ever to play in an NFL regular season game in a 26–10 loss to the Tennessee Titans (which was also the team of the kicker Santos replaced), also kicking his first career field goal. After missing two field goals in his first two games, he made his next 13 field goal attempts, including a clutch game-winning field goal with 26 seconds left in a Week 7 win over the San Diego Chargers and a 53-yard field goal the following week against the St. Louis Rams.
Santos was the team season scoring leader (113 points), with the most points by a rookie player in Chiefs history. He also made most field goals (25) by a rookie kicker in Chiefs history (tied with Ryan Succop). Both rookie records have since been broken by Harrison Butker's 2017 season.
2015 season: Playoffs appearanceEdit
In a 21–36 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on 4 October 2015 (Week 4), Santos kicked a team record seven field goals, including two over 50 yards. His seven field goals in the game is the second most all-time in a single game, which he shares with five other players. The points scored by Santos in the game were the only points scored by the Chiefs during the game.
In a 30–0 victory against the Houston Texans in the AFC Wild Card game, Cairo Santos became the first Brazilian player to play in a playoff game. He made all three field goal and three extra point attempts. He kicked two 49-yard field goals, the longest field goals in the Chiefs postseason history.
In his second postseason game, Santos made two field goals in a 20–27 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoffs game.
2016 season: Player of the MonthEdit
In Week 2, Santos kicked a 54-yard field goal in a 12–19 loss to the Houston Texans, the longest field goal of his professional career.
Santos made two field goals in the 30–27 overtime victory against Denver Broncos including a game-winning 34-yard field goal attempt that bounced off the left upright with five seconds left in overtime in Week 12.
In November, Santos was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for the first time in his career after converting 11 of 11 field goals and all five extra points.
2017 season: Injured seasonEdit
After missing much of the training camp and the preseason with a groin injury, Santos returned in time for the start of the regular season. He started the season off on a strong note by converting all six extra point attempts in a 42–27 victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. However, the injury was aggravated after a hit in Week 3 against Los Angeles Chargers. On September 26, 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs placed Santos on injured reserve. Santos made all the 12 extra-point attempts and was 3-for-3 in field goal attempts. On September 30, 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs waived Santos from injured reserve.
On 20 November 2017, Santos signed with the Chicago Bears. Santos missed his first field-goal attempt as a member of the Bears, a 54-yarder. On 4 December, Santos was placed on injured reserve after hurting his groin in pregame warmups in Week 13 against the San Francisco 49ers.
New York JetsEdit
Los Angeles RamsEdit
On 2 October 2018, Santos signed with the Los Angeles Rams to serve as their starting kicker while Greg Zuerlein recovers from a groin injury. In his first game, he made a game-winning 39-yard field goal in a 33–31 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He was released on 16 October 2018 after two games after Zuerlein was deemed healthy.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit
On 12 November 2018, Santos was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Chandler Catanzaro was released. Santos in his team debut he was perfect on all five extra-point attempts in the 38–35 loss to the New York Giants in Week 11. In Week 15, Santos made his 100th career field goal in the 20–12 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
On March 13, 2019, Santos re-signed with the Buccaneers.
|GP||Blk||Lng||FG Att||FGM||Pct||XP Att||XPM||Pct||Blk||KO||Avg||TB||Ret||Avg|
|2014||Kansas City Chiefs||16||0||53||30||25||83.3||38||38||100||0||80||63.6||26||53||24.1||113|
|2015||Kansas City Chiefs||16||1||53||37||30||81.1||41||39||95.1||0||90||63.8||40||46||24.7||129|
|2016||Kansas City Chiefs||16||0||54||35||31||88.6||39||36||92.3||1||86||62.7||48||35||24.1||129|
|2017||Kansas City Chiefs||3||0||39||3||3||100||12||12||100||0||18||65.4||10||8||21.0||21|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||0||39||6||5||83.3||6||5||83.3||0||13||63.2||7||6||23.8||20|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7||0||45||12||9||75.0||17||17||100||0||36||59.9||12||23||21.1||44|
Field goals by distanceEdit
|Season||Team||20–29 yards||30–39 yards||40–49 yards||50+ yards|
|2014||Kansas City Chiefs||10||10||100||6||7||85.7||7||10||70.0||1||2||50.0|
|2015||Kansas City Chiefs||7||8||87.5||10||10||100||9||11||81.8||4||8||50.0|
|2016||Kansas City Chiefs||8||9||88.6||15||17||88.2||6||7||85.7||2||2||100|
|2017||Kansas City Chiefs||0||0||-||3||3||100||0||0||-||0||0||-|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||2||100||2||2||100||0||1||0.0||0||0||-|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||2||100||4||4||100||3||5||60.0||0||1||0.0|
|GP||Blk||Lng||FG Att||FGM||Pct||XP Att||XPM||Pct||Blk||KO||Avg||TB||Ret||Avg|
|2015||Kansas City Chiefs||2||0||49||5||5||100||5||5||100||0||12||60.8||10||1||26.0||20|
|2016||Kansas City Chiefs||1||0||48||1||1||100||1||1||100||0||4||61.3||1||3||16.7||4|
Accomplishments and recordsEdit
- 2nd most field goals made, game (tied with other 5 players): 7 on 4 October 2015
- 2nd most field goals made, no misses, game (tied with other 3 players): 7
Kansas City ChiefsEdit
- Highest field goal percentage, career (min. 100 attempts): 84.8
- Most points by a player in first three seasons: 371
- Most points by a kicker, game: 21 on 4 October 2015
- Most field goals made in first three seasons: 86
- Most field goals made, game: 7
- Most field goals made, game (playoffs) (tied with other 3 players): 3 on 9 January 2016
- Most field goals made, no misses, game: 7
- Most field goals attempted, game (tied with Jan Stenerud): 7
- Most field goals, 50+ yards, season (tied with Nick Lowery and Harrison Butker): 4, 2015
- Most field goals, 50+ yards, game (tied with other 3 players): 2 on 4 October 2015
- Most games, 2+ field goals made, season (tied with other 3 players): 10, 2016
- Longest field goal made, playoffs: 49 (twice) on 9 January 2016
- 3rd most field goals made, season: 31, 2016
- 3rd most points by a kicker, season (tied with Jan Stenerud): 129, 2015 and 2016
- 7th most points by a player, career: 392
On 15 September 2013, Santos' father died in a plane crash in Brazil. "I used to talk to my dad everyday, all the time. We were very close. He was my biggest fan, very supportive of my career, always wishing me to do well, no matter what. He will always be there for me. I know. After each successful kick or game I always think about him. I point my fingers to the sky in honor of him."
In the 2016 "My Cause My Cleats" NFL campaign, Santos honored Chapecoense, a Brazilian association football club, due to the aircraft crash that occurred with the delegation of the club killing 71 people in Colombia on 28 November 2016.
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- "NFL International Series: Cairo Santos' journey from Brazil". BBC.com. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
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- "Cairo Santos". Tulane Green Wave. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
- "Cairo Santos Bio – Tulane University Official Athletic Site". tulanegreenwave.com.
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- Kissel, BJ (26 September 2017). "Chiefs Place Kicker Cairo Santos on Injured Reserve, Sign Harrison Butker". Chiefs.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- Smith, Michael David (30 September 2017). "Chiefs rule out Dee Ford and Mitch Morse, waive Cairo Santos". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com.
- Mayer, Larry (20 November 2017). "Roster Moves: Santos replaces Barth as Bears kicker". ChicagoBears.com. Archived from the original on 23 November 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
- "Bears-Eagles: Recap, social media reaction". ChicagoTribune.com. 26 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- Mayer, Larry (4 December 2017). "Nugent replaces injured Santos as Bears kicker". ChicagoBears.com. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
- Lange, Randy (15 March 2018). "Jets Sign Placekicker Cairo Santos". NewYorkJets.com. Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- Allen, Eric (22 August 2018). "Jets Release K Cairo Santos". NewYorkJets.com.
- Simmons, Myles (2 October 2018). "Rams Sign K Cairo Santos". TheRams.com.
- "Signed this week, Rams kicker Cairo Santos gets a game-winning moment". ESPN. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Simmons, Myles (16 October 2018). "Rams Sign WR Nick Williams, Cut K Cairo Santos". TheRams.com. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- Smith, Scott (12 November 2018). "Cairo Santos Takes Over as Bucs' New Kicker". Buccaneers.com.
- "Buccaneers' Cairo Santos: Perfect in team debut". cbssports.com. 19 November 2018.
- "Buccaneers' Cairo Santos: Regains confidence in Week 15 loss". cbssports.com. 17 December 2018.
- Smith, Scott (13 March 2019). "Bucs Bring Back Kicker Cairo Santos". Buccaneers.com.
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