Biggest move of the offseason - signing Connor Barth?
In a move that last year would have heard the echos of "OH that did a lot!" "What? We signed a kicker?" , the Bucs made maybe one of the most important moves by signing free agent Connor Barth, who obviously wanted to go nowhere else.
An indirect Buccaneer thanks to the Mike Nugent fiasco, the Bucs re-signed the former blonde mop-top TarHeel for a cool 13.2 million dollars for 4 years. But a kicker?
Well let me ask you, besides punter Michael Koenen, did any other Buccaneer perform better, more consistently than Barth? He was an amazing 26 of 28 for FGs, basically 93% accurate. Thats unheard of with more than 15 kicks!
What really makes the number stand out, is that most of Barth's kicks were in the 40-49 yard range! He nailed more of those kicks (14) than every other catagory combined (11 under 40 yards). He even made 3 50+ yards.
His kicking really is remarkable when you consider his two misses happened during his bad month...October. He went 7 of 9 that month. Those are the only two failures; Barth kicked 100% in September, November and on. And not a single loss can be attributed to his performance; he nailed every kick (17 of 17) in losses last year.
While kickers' NFL careers can be somewhat en vogue based on their recent performance, the Bucs risk little by doing this contract as most of the money is up front, and no pro-rated signing bonus money will affect future year's caps. In 2015, Barth's salary will rise to 3.3 million, but still only reflect as 3.3 million against the cap.
Signing Connor Barth gives the Bucs an almost guaranteed 3 points every time they enter the Red Zone, something new head coach Greg Schiano is going to be happy to have on his sideline.