The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms with Connor Barth, according to Greg Auman and since confirmed by the Bucs. Barth was cut by the Denver Broncos earlier this week, mostly because he doesn't have the leg to handle kickoffs.
Connor Barth's Bucs deal has maximum two-year value of $2.75-million. League minimum with his experience is $870,000 this year.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 27, 2015
Barth will compete with Patrick Murray in a repeat of last year's preseason battle, although this time Barth doesn't have a ridiculously expensive contract basically guaranteeing he'll be cut. Barth spent five seasons with the Bucs, converting 84.3% of his kicks over that time, kicking several game-winners and setting team records. Barth played five games for the Broncos last season in which he made 15 of 16 field goals. He has never missed a PAT in his career.
Meanwhile, Patrick Murray has struggled a little this offseason after turning in a very impressive 2014 when he made 20 of 24 kicks and hit on all of his extra points. So far this offseason he's only made half of his field goals, and missed one of four extra point tries -- though the latter is less surprising now that the extra point has been moved back. Still, only five extra points have been missed leaguewide this preseason.
Whether Barth or Murray wins the job may come down to the ability of the prospective punter to handle kickoffs. Barth simply doesn't have the leg to handle them consistently, but Murray might -- though he's not dominant there, either. From a field goal perspective, Barth is likely the superior player -- which means that if the Bucs keep a punter who can handle kickoffs, they can afford to move on from Murray and return to the player who's won them quite a few games over the years.