CHICAGO – Connor Barth will start the 2016 NFL season on a roster after all as the Chicago Bears are expected to sign the Wilmington native following his anticipated arrival in the Windy City on Monday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
The Bears announced their decision to part ways with their all-time leading scorer, releasing veteran kicker Robbie Gould Sunday night after 11 seasons.
Gould holds franchise records in total points (1,207 points), field goals made (276), field goals made from 50 yards and beyond (23) and longest field goal (58 yards in 2013). He signed with the Bears early in the 2005 season and has played his entire NFL career in Chicago.
While Gould has enjoyed the comfort of one organization throughout his professional experience, the 30-year-old Barth has bounced around since entering the NFL following a record setting career at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
He spent the preseason with the New Orleans Saints competing against Kai Forbath for the place kicker position before being cut on Saturday as NFL teams were required to trim their rosters to 53 players ahead of week one of the regular season. Barth appeared in 12 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, connecting on 23 of 28 field goals with one missed extra point.
Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox also has familiarity with Barth after the kicker played five games in Denver under his direction in 2014.