Reporting Justin Pawlowski
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth will miss the entire 2013 season due to a torn Achilles tendon he suffered while playing in a charity basketball game. absence
In a quick and responsive move, the Buccaneers signed kicker Lawrence Tynes, who spent the last few years with the New York Giants and had his best year as a pro in 2012 making 33 of 39 field goals.
“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,” Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said. “Lawrence and his agent, Ken Harris, had other standing opportunities, but we are pleased that they thought this was the right place for Lawrence to continue his career.”
Barth, who was designated the team’s franchise tag in 2012, was entering the 2nd year of a 4-year $13.2 million contract he signed a year ago.
By placing Barth on the reserve/non-football injury list, the Buccaneers could choose not to pay Barth his salary of $2.3 million in 2013.
Where is the line here?
Barth was taking part in a charity basketball game when he got injured. By not paying him, could the Buccaneers face backlash for punishing a player for taking part in an event that helps charity? At a time when so many NFL players are being arrested for doing the wrong thing, would the Bucs contemplate punishing a player that was doing something to help his community?
On the other side, Barth’s injury is much more devastating than the average football fan would assume. When the Bucs have needed a field goal in the past two seasons, Barth was as automatic as they come. It is safe to say that the loss of Barth for the season could possibly lead to a couple losses instead of wins in 2013.
Another factor in the Barth loss will be Greg Schiano’s confidence level in his kicking game. If the Bucs offense was within a 60-yard field goal and 4th down came up, Barth immediately went onto the field. Lawrence Tynes has a career long of 53 yards, but has yet to make a field goal over 50 yards the past two seasons. How does his loss effect the mindset of Schiano? Will we see the Bucs offense going for it more in these type of situations or will Schiano play it conservatively and lean more towards a punt?
While Lawrence Tynes had a great season in 2012 with the Giants, there was a reason that he was available on the open market at this point in the off-season and why the Giants were quick to replace him with Josh Brown and David Buehler.
Bucs training camp starts on July 24th.
So, do you blame Barth for taking part in the charity basketball game or was it merely coincidence that the injury occurred?
Which angle should the Bucs take?
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