BY: John Mamola
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a bold move in shaping their 53 man roster on Friday by releasing veteran kicker Connor Barth and deciding to keep rookie kicker Patrick Murray as their starting place kicker. The move follows a disappointing and short season for Barth with the Buccaneers who missed the entire 2013 regular season after injuring himself in a charity basketball game during training camp of last year.
The decision to cut Barth also might have been influenced by economics. Barth was scheduled to earn $2 million in base salary. Plus, he was slated to earn $1.15 million in weekly bonuses if he made the 53-man roster.
Buccaneers radio analyst Anthony Becht joined WDAE’s ‘The Sports Page’ on Tuesday and he trusts in what Lovie Smith and Jason Licht are doing going with an inexperienced rookie as their number one starter.
“Going with a rookie kicker is always a challenge,” said Becht. “He might have looked good throughout training camp and obviously pre-season. But when those situations come up in a game where its pressure and the game is on the line and you’re leaning on somebody to make that big kick, he has not been challenged in that standpoint. So they believe in him and that’s the guy they’re going with. I personally, Connor Barth’s been there done. I wish we had him last season, but he had the injury. To me mentally that’s the biggest thing and we’ll find out where this young man is.”
To hear Anthony Becht’s recap of all the roster cuts as well as looking ahead to game one against the Carolina Panthers, click below.
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