It’s been a barren few months when it comes to significant news surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that changed this morning. The Buccaneers announced kicker Connor Barth will miss the entire 2013 season with a torn Achilles tendon.
FOX Sports Florida reports the injury occurred as part of a charity basketball event including other NFL players.
The Buccaneers have signed Lawrence Tynes as a replacement. Here’s the statement from Bucs GM Mark Dominik.
”We are disappointed to lose a productive player like Connor, but are very fortunate to be able to sign an experienced kicker at this time of year.”
Losing Barth is could turn out to be quite a large loss for the Buccaneers. He has been one of the most accurate kickers in the league over the past three seasons (87%), while the Bucs new kicker Lawrence Tynes has made just 82% of his attempts in the same time frame.
Also, Barth’s range is significantly greater than that of Tynes. Barth has made FG’s of 57, 53, and 52 yards in the past three seasons while Tynes’ hasn’t made a kick over 50 since Week 7 of 2010.
The one benefit that Tynes does offer over Barth is playoff experience. Tynes has played in 10 playoff games including two Super Bowls. However, his stat line is not great when it comes to playoff success. Tynes has made a paltry 13 of 18 (72%) in his playoff career. He is 3 for 3 in both FG’s and XP’s in the Super Bowl though.
So, all in all, losing a starter is never a good thing to hear in July. There’s no question in my mind the Buccaneers would have been better off with Barth kicking field goals rather than Lawrence Tynes. However, Tynes has experience, he’s kicked in almost every situation the NFL has to offer, including six years in pressure packed New York, so he shouldn’t be frazzled by any situation the Buccaneers put him in.
The Bucs used to have a guy who made 87% of his attempts, now they have one who makes 82%. Let’s hope that 5% doesn’t shine its ugly head in the fourth quarter of a big game.
Update: Barth took to Twitter to thank the fans just moments after the Buccaneers official announcement.
I really want to say a big thanks to all my fans out there for the kind words! I will be back better than ever next year! #ItsABucsLife
— Connor Barth (@connorbarth) July 17, 2013