Bucs franchise PK Barth signs 4-year, $13.2-million deal
Franchise place-kicker Connor Barth showed up to watch the Bucs' first week of Organized Team Activities despite not having a contract. But by the time the workouts ended Thursday, Barth signed a four-year deal.
Terms of the contract were not released, but agent Robert Roche confirmed it is worth $13.2-million with $4-million guaranteed.
The Bucs placed the franchise player tag on Barth on March 1, which was worth $2.65-million on a 1-year deal. But both Barth and the Bucs were hopeful of reaching a long-term extension, and the one he signed Thursday will average $3.3-million per year.
“For the Bucs organization, (General Manager) Mark Dominik, Coach (Greg) Schiano and everyone to believe in me, to know that I'll be their kicker for the next four years, is awesome,” Barth said in a statement released by the team. “It's just an amazing opportunity and I want to continue to perform like I have and live up to their expectations. I want to thank everyone – the fans, everybody, the team behind me – and I'm looking forward to getting back on the field.”
Barth set a franchise-record by connecting on 92.9 percent of his field goals (26-of-28) last season, which ranked second in the NFL. That included making 15 consective field goal tries to end the season, the longest-active streak in the league. In the past two seasons, his 87.5 percent field goal percentage is the fourth-best in the NFL.
In a 39-19 loss to Carolina last season, Barth became only the third player in league history to make four of more 40-plus yard field goals in one half (50-, 47-, 46-, 44-yards).
Since joining the Bucs during the 2009 season, Barth has made 63-of-75 field goal attempts (84.0 percent) and is a perfect 71-of-71 on PATs.
"Every year is about trying to get better," Barth told Buccaneers.com. "I just want to take it one kick at a time – you never want to forget about that. I don't want to forget about what I did to get to this point and never lose sight of that – stay hungry, stay humble and do what I can to help this team win games."
Barth's path from a kicker released by both the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins to one of the highest-paid at his position in the league is remarkable.
After a great career at the University of North Carolina, Barth entered the NFL as a free agent with Kansas City in 2008. He was released at the end of the preseason in favor of Nick Novak, but re-signed to replace Novak, going 10-for-12 in field goal attempts in 10 games.
Barth spent the 2009 off-season with the Chiefs but was released and signed two weeks later by the Miami Dolphins, who also waived him that summer.
The Bucs had their own kicking problems in 2009. They had signed Jets free agent Mike Nugent, but he and Shane Andrus combined to go 2-for-7 in the first seven games. Barth was signed to replace them and went 14-of-19 in field goal attempts the rest of the way. That performance included making three field goals of 50-yards or more in his second game with the Bucs, appropriately enough, against the Dolphins in Miami.
The Bucs also announced they have signed WR Wallace Wright and WR Armahd Lewis and released T Mike Ingersoll and TE Tyler Urban. Wright has played in 53 career games over four seasons, all with the Jets. Lewis is an undrafted free agent from Central Washington University.