The Bears signed free-agent kicker Cairo Santos one day after Barth badly botched a 46-yard field-goal attempt that sealed Chicago's 27-24 loss to Detroit on Sunday. In addition, the Bears are parting ways with Barth.
Barth's missed kick sunk the Bears to 3-7 and wiped out a potential last-minute, game-tying drive sparked by rookie passer Mitchell Trubisky's 19-yard scramble on fourth-and-13 from Chicago's 38-yard line to keep the march alive.
Just 11 for 16 on field goal attempts this season, Barth is on his way out in favor of Santos, the former Chiefs kicker who was waived/injured in September due to a groin injury. Now healthy, the 26-year-old gives the Bears an experienced leg with an 84.8 percent success rate on field goals over four NFL campaigns.
Chicago's season is essentially lost, but with coaches and players fighting for their jobs, an adequate kicker can make all the difference -- something the Bears learned Sunday in the cruelest of ways.