Darlington: Freeman's burden
Bucs QB Josh Freeman might be slimmer and trimmer, but he knows he still has his work cut out for him, writes Jeff Darlington. More ...
According to Barth's agent, Robert Roche, the deal is worth $13.2 million, a $3.3 million per year average that ranks fourth among NFL place-kickers, trailing only the Oakland Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski ($4 million), the Cleveland Browns' Phil Dawson ($3.81 million) and the New England Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski ($3.4 million). Had Barth played out the season under the franchise tag, he would have earned $2.654 million in base salary.
Since joining the Buccaneers midway through the 2009 season, the 26-year-old Barth is 63-of-75 (84 percent) on field goal attempts, including a 26-of-28 performance that set a club-record for field-goal accuracy during the 2011 season. Barth reported to the start of the team's OTAs this week despite not having a signed tender or new contract.
"I've been working my whole career for something like this, for this opportunity," Barth told the team's official website. "For the Bucs' organization, (general manager) Mark Dominik, coach (Greg) Schiano and everyone to believe in me, to know that I'll be their kicker for the next four years, is awesome. I love Tampa."
According to the team's site, Barth's accuracy percentage is the best in Bucs history.
"I just want to take it one kick at a time -- you never want to forget about that," Barth told the site. "I don't want to forget about what I did to get to this point and never lose sight of that -- stay hungry, stay humble and do what I can to help this team win games."
Barth signing a multi-year extension means just nine of the 21 players who received the franchise tag have not signed their tender or a new contract.