Wilmington native Connor Barth is heading back to Tampa Bay for the third time in one year as the former Hoggard High School standout was signed by the Buccaneers organization early Tuesday.
The move comes after the release of rookie Kyle Brindza, who had been the team’s starter through their first four games. Brindza had a poor outing against the Carolina Panthers when the kicker missed two field goals and an extra-point attempt on Sunday. He beat out Barth and Pat Murray during the preseason for the starting gig.
Barth, a seven-year veteran, spent most of his NFL career with the Buccaneers. He was the team’s kicker from 2009 to 2012 after playing with the Chiefs his rookie season. He spent last season with the Denver Broncos, but was released during training camp earlier this year, which led to his try out in Tampa Bay.
Barth has connected on 116 of 136 field goals in his career, which ranks 11th all-time among NFL kickers for accuracy. He’s missed just four times when attempting kicks shorter than 40 yards, converting on 63 of 67 attempts. The league moved the point after attempt (PAT) to 35 yards prior to the season.
Barth had been a free agent until returning to Tampa Bay. He currently holds the highest field goal percentage in Buccaneers franchise history, a record he achieved during the 2011 season. He also broke another franchise record during the 2012 season in which he made 25 consecutive field goals.
Barth grabbed headlines over the social media sphere on Sunday after he went to Twitter following one of Brindza’s missed attempts.
@contbarth- “I’m just saying I am available for the right price… #freeagent @nfl”
The move by Tampa Bay comes on the heals of the Pittsburgh Steelers decision to part ways with Josh Scobee, who joins a long list of kickers looking for a job in the NFL. According to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, Tampa Bay worked out veteran kickers Randy Bullock, Kai Forbath and Billy Cundiff before signing Barth.