The Buccaneers had a big offseason simply by landing Darrelle Revis in a trade and therefore have high hopes for 2013. And though kicker success is fleeting at best in the NFL, it's a bit ominous to lose your franchise kicker for the year in July.
That's precisely what happened to Tampa Bay. Connor Barth tore his Achilles and will miss the entire year, the team announced Wednesday. In his stead, the team signed former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes.
"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," Buccaneers 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."
According to the Buccaneers' release, Barth tore his Achilles while playing in a charity basketball tournament on Friday, one which included "other NFL players." It's a particularly stinging burn because Barth is: a.) a very talented kicker, and b.) Tampa Bay signed him to a four-year deal worth $13.2 million last offseason.
Barth signed with the Bucs halfway through the 2009 season and has made 84.3 percent of his field-goal attempts since, including a ridiculous 92.9 percent in 2011.
Tynes is a capable but older replacement: he made 84.6 percent of his kicks with the Giants in 2012 before becoming an unrestricted free agent.