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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs place franchise tag on PK Connor Barth



The Bucs placed their franchise player tag on Connor Barth, who became the fifth place-kicker in the league to earn that distinction.

The franchise tag number for place-kickers is about $2.65-million on a one-year contract that is guaranteed. It represents the average top five salaries of place-kickers in the NFL and is lower this year because of a new calculation agreed to in the new collective bargaining agreement. Barth earned about $1.9-million in 2011.

Other place-kickers who have received the franchise player tag include the Jaguars' Josh Scobee, the Broncos' Matt Prater, the Bengals' Mike Nugent and the Browns' Phil Dawson.

Barth's agent, Rob Roche, said he is hopeful a long-term deal will still be negotiated

"I have been notified that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed the franchise tender on their kicker, Connor Barth,'' Roche said in a statement Monday. "I have been negotiating with the Buccaneers on a contract for Connor. It is my hope that our negotiations will continue and result in a long-term contract that will reflect Connor's status as one of the elite kickers in the National Football League.

"Connor enjoys being a member of the Buccaneers organization and appreciates the
great fans of the Buccaneers who reside in the Tampa metropolitan area."

Barth set a franchise record in 2011 by connecting on 92.9 percent of his field goal attempts (26-of-28), which ranked second in the NFL last season. It's believed Barth is seeking a contract similar to the five-year, $15.759-million deal signed by Patriots place-kicker Stephen Gostkowski last season.

Gostkowski made 28-of-33 field goal attempts during the regular season (84.8 percent) and was 5-for-5 in the playoffs.

Barth has improved every season since signing as a free agent with the Bucs midway through 2009. He has made 83.9 percent of his career field goal attempts. Last year, he did not have to perform kickoff duties after the team signed Falcons free agent punter Michael Koenen.



[Last modified: Monday, March 5, 2012 4:48pm]


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