Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Bucs kicker Connor Barth signs four-year, $13.2 million deal

TAMPA — With a franchise-record 92.9 percent success rate on field goals, Connor Barth left himself a tough act to follow. But at 26 and already one of the best kickers in the NFL, the Bucs believe nothing should preclude an encore.

That's why they placed the franchise player tag on Barth in March and why on Thursday they signed him to a four-year, $13.2 million contract with $4 million guaranteed.

"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. "It's just an amazing opportunity, and I want to continue to perform like I have and live up to their expectations."

Barth made 26 of 28 field goals last season, second in the NFL. He made 15 straight to end the season, the longest active streak in the league. In the past two years, Barth's 87.5 percentage is fourth-best in the league.

In a 39-19 loss to Carolina last season, Barth became the third player in league history to make four or more 40-plus yard field goals in one half (50, 47, 46 and 44 yards).

His standing among kickers is reflected in his $3.3 million per year salary, which is just behind the Raiders Sebastian Janikowski ($4 million per year) and the Colts' Adam Vinatieri ($3.45 million) and ahead of the Patriots Stephen Gostkowski ($3.15 million).

Since joining the Bucs during the 2009 season, Barth has made 63 of 75 field goals (84 percent) and has hit all 71 extra points.

He has gone from being released by the Chiefs and Dolphins to one of the highest-paid at his position.

Barth entered the league as a free agent with Kansas City in 2008. He was released at the end of the preseason, then re-signed, making 10 of 12 field goals in 10 games.

In 2009, Barth was released by both the Chiefs and Dolphins. The Bucs had kicking problems that year before signing Barth, who replaced struggling Mike Nugent and Shane Andrus and made 14 of 19 field goals over nine games. That included making three field goals of 50 yards or more in his second game, at Miami.

Barth declined to sign the $2.65 million franchise tender and didn't participate in the veteran minicamp before this year's draft. It turned out to be a good move.

The Bucs had already demonstrated a willingness to spend on specialists. Last offseason they signed Falcons punter/kickoff specialist Michael Koenen to a six-year, $19.5 million contract. The $32.7 million committed by the Bucs is believed to be the most combined by an NFL team for a punter and placekicker.

Despite not being under contract, Barth was present Tuesday on the first day of the Bucs' organized team activities. "That's what makes Connor a unique guy and a good teammate," Dominik said.

By Thursday, Barth was rewarded for his performance and loyalty.

MORE SIGNINGS: The Bucs signed former Jets receiver Wallace Wright and receiver Armahd Lewis while releasing tackle Mike Ingersoll and tight end Tyler Urban. Wright has played in 53 games over four seasons, all with the Jets. Lewis is an undrafted free agent from Central Washington University.

Comments
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places, in a city brand-new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world: Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first expansion team to win a championship.And whi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Two high draft picks that could earn starting jobs signed four year contracts with the Bucs Thursday.The team signed Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first-round pick.Terms of the deal were not released, but Vea  is expected to r...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet questioned the legality of the NFL's new  policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if t...
Published: 05/24/18
Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

The dust has settled from another NFL draft, and Bucs general manager Jason Licht has made three promotions in his scouting department as a new year of player evaluation begins.Byron Kiefer, entering his 14th season with the Bucs and fourth as a nati...
Published: 05/24/18
NFL’s new anthem policy requires players to stand on sideline or remain in locker room

NFL’s new anthem policy requires players to stand on sideline or remain in locker room

ATLANTA — The NFL and the owners of its 32 teams enacted a new national anthem policy Wednesday designed, they said, to compel players to stand if they’re on the sideline for the playing of the anthem prior to a game."Clearly our objective as a leagu...
Published: 05/23/18
Bucs bring back Lakewood’s Bernard Reedy to compete for WR/KR job

Bucs bring back Lakewood’s Bernard Reedy to compete for WR/KR job

Lakewood grad Bernard Reedy, who handled the Bucs' kickoff and punt returns for much of last season, is back with Tampa Bay again.Reedy, 26, was signed on Wednesday, one day after the Bucs began OTA workouts. Thomas Sperbeck, the former Boise State r...
Published: 05/23/18
NFL policy: Players can stay inside during anthem if they won’t stand

NFL policy: Players can stay inside during anthem if they won’t stand

NFL owners passed a new policy Wednesday with the hopes of moving on from boycotts and political turmoil related to some players protesting by not standing during the national anthem before games.Under the new policy, NFL players are not required to ...
Published: 05/23/18
New Super Bowls: Arizona in 2023, New Orleans in 2024

New Super Bowls: Arizona in 2023, New Orleans in 2024

And you thought our headline would be "Mariota hosts NFL draft before Winston."The NFL owners are meeting in Atlanta this week, and that means a new batch of future Super Bowls getting announced for their homes.A year ago, Tampa got the huge news, an...
Published: 05/23/18
Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

It's hard to miss new Bucs center Ryan Jensen at OTA workouts this week, with his long red hair visible from across the field even when he's wearing a helmet."Any recommendations for anti frizz shampoo and conditioner?" Jensen wrote on Twitter with a...
Published: 05/23/18