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Bucs bring back Connor Barth as kicker

TAMPA — Connor Barth used his Twitter account to remind the Bucs he was available for the right price while their rookie kicker was missing two field goals and an extra point Sunday.

After Barth worked out with four other kickers Tuesday, the Bucs took him up on that offer, signing him to a two-year contract.

Barth, 29, replaces Kyle Brindza, the rookie from Notre Dame who went 6-of-12 in field goal attempts and missed two extra points, leading to his release on Monday.

Barth was part of a Tuesday workout that included Billy Cundiff, Randy Bullock, Kai Forbath and former USF kicker Marvin Kloss.

If it weren't for his inability to consistently boot touchbacks on kickoffs, Barth would already be in the NFL. But having potentially lost two games as a result of inaccurate place kicks, the Bucs are willing to sacrifice distance on the kickoff for more points.

"First it's about being able to hit field goals and extra points," coach Lovie Smith said. "Yes, we would also for him to put it out of the end zone on kickoffs, but we just aren't looking for a kickoff guy. We're looking for a guy that can hit field goals and be accurate with it first. First priority is that."

Barth was the Bucs' kicker from 2009-12 and set the franchise record with a 92.9 field goal percentage in 2011. He missed the '13 season after tearing his Achilles in a charity basketball game and was released last season when the team opted for rookie Patrick Murray.

Barth went 15 of 16 in field goals in five games for the Broncos last season.

The Bucs brought him back for a few weeks in the preseason this year and he missed his only field goal. Then the Bucs traded tight end Tim Wright to the Lions for Brindza, who offered an exceptionally strong leg.

Tuesdays have become busy with comings and goings on the Bucs roster, and this week is no different. In addition to signing Barth and promoting receiver Donteea Dye, the Bucs have promoted defensive end Howard Jones from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Dye replaces defensive end T.J. Fatinikun, who was placed on injured reserve, ending his season after a knee injury.

The Bucs also made some practice-squad moves — tackle Reid Fragel, promoted to the active roster for a few days last week, then cut, is back on the practice squad, with lineman Martin Wallace released. The team also signed defensive end Josh Shirley. The Bucs filled the final two spots on their practice squad by signing undrafted rookie receivers Adam Humphries (Clemson) and Rannell Hall (UCF). Humphries was waived Monday, and Hall was cut from the practice squad two weeks ago.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Bucs bring back Connor Barth as kicker 10/06/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 11:15pm]
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