Long-term deal still possible between Bucs, kicker Connor Barth
No, Bucs kicker Connor Barth hasn’t signed his franchise tender, nor has he agreed to a long-term contract extension.
So, why was he at the team’s first OTA workout this morning? To show solidarity with his teammates, according to general manager Mark Dominik.
And Barth’s mere presence is an indication that his relationship with the team remains amicable, suggesting the sides could come to an accord on a multi-year contract extension.
“I think that’s what we both want,” Dominik said this morning at One Buc Place. We’re talking about one of the youngest kickers to hit free agency. . . He’s been a consistent guy. I understand where his agent’s coming from. We just had a good talk just now. That’s what makes Connor great. He’s a good teammate.”
Barth was tagged as the Bucs’ franchise player in February, thereby limiting his ability to test the market as an unrestricted free agent. He is scheduled to make $2.645 million in 2012 if he agrees to sign the deal, but has thus far declined to do so.
The sides can continue negotiating until July 15, after which Barth cannot sign a multi-year deal.
In the meantime, it didn’t hurt that Barth showed up today.
“He decided to come in and be with his teammates,” Dominik said. “He hasn’t signed anything. But that’s who Connor is. It’s why I franchised him. No. 1 because of what he does on the field but also because of who he is as a teammate. He came here today just to be around the guys and is just watching. I don’t think there are many franchise guys who have ever done that.”