We all know that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost some great players this year to injury. Most notably of course was Doug Martin who was done with the season after week 8 with the torn Labrum, only to be followed by Mike James who was placed on IR after an ankle fracture he suffered against the Dolphins week 10. Martin and James along with 13 others ended up on Tampa Bay’s IR list, but the one player I’m talking about didn’t even play a snap this past season. Of course I’m talking about Connor Barth.
Since becoming a Buccaneer midway through the 2009 season Barth has shown that he is talented kicker and has gotten better with each season, currently holding the team record of 84.3 percent of field goals made during his tenure with the team. Barth also set the single season franchise record in 2011 by making 26 of his 28 field goal attempts netting him a success rate of 92.9 percent. In 2012 Barth completed 28 of 33 attempts (84.8%) including an astounding nine field goals of 50+ yards. Connor Barth suffered his injury during a charity basketball game that was taking place last summer in Wilmington North Carolina, where he ended up tearing his Achilles.
Lawrence Tynes was signed by the Bucs quickly after Barth’s injury, but lost him to a staph infection that seemed to plague the Bucs facility last year. Rian Lindell ended up winning the job and performed adequately making 23 of 29 field goals earning him a 79.3 percent success rate. Barth still has 2 years left on his current contract that has been restructured since his injury. He is scheduled to make two million dollars next year down from the three and a half that was promised to him before the injury. Here’s hoping that Barth returns at full strength and continue his trend of improving each year. I for one am looking forward to the return of Barth Vader.