TAMPA — After missing all of last year with a torn Achilles tendon, place kicker Connor Barth was preparing for a comeback season in 2014.
If Barth does indeed make that comeback, it won’t be with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs on Friday cut the most accurate kicker in franchise history, leaving their kicking duties to rookie Patrick Murray.
Barth was one of 14 players cut by the Bucs as they began the process of whittling their roster to the league’s 53-man maximum.
“Every year there are difficult decisions that need to be made during this time of year as we get down to our 53-man roster,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said of releasing Barth.
“We appreciate everything Connor has done for the Buccaneers on and off the field over these past five years, but this decision was based on the best interests of our team moving forward.”
Barth made good on 91 of the 108 field goals he tried with the Bucs, compiling an 84.3-percentage rate that was the best in franchise history. He also holds the team’s single-season record with a 92.9-percent accuracy rate set in 2011.
Murrays came to the Bucs as an undrafted free agent out of Fordham, where he earned All-America honors after making 25 of 30 field goals (83-percent) while also punting 52 times for 2,392 yards.