After cutting Josh Scobee loose earlier this week, the Saints were seemingly in the market for a kicker with just Kai Forbath on the roster. An invitee at rookie minicamp last week, Barth will be tabbed to challenge Forbath, and the former's success rate in the Superdome (8-for-8 in his career) could very well aid in the competition.
The 24-year-old last kicked for the Bucs in his rookie year of 2014, hitting 20 of 24 field goals, including 5 of 6 from 50 yards or more. Murray was also perfect that season on 31 extra points at the previous distance, but suffered a knee injury last summer and was in the midst of recovering from spring knee surgery. The timing of the move figures to provide the Fordham product with plenty of time to find a training camp opportunity for 2016, and also leaves the Bucs with an opening on their 90-man roster.
After cutting Josh Scobee loose earlier this week, the Saints were seemingly in the market for a kicker with just Kai Forbath on the roster. An invitee at rookie minicamp last week, Barth will be tabbed to compete with Forbath, and the former's success rate in the Superdome (8-for-8 in his career) could very well aid in the competition.
Scobee signed on with the Saints back in March but will once again be a free agent as it appears the team is confident heading forward with Kai Forbath as the lone kicker on the roster. The veteran Scobee will hope to find his way onto another team in search of some competition at kicker as training camps near.
Folk sustained a Grade 1 quadriceps strain during pregame warmups in Week 9, and his fate for the season was sealed just two days later when he landed on injured reserve. In a seven-game sample prior to the injury, his success rate on field goals (13-for-16, or 81.3 percent) was in line with his career mark of 80.6 percent. Of note, though, was a perfect 19-for-19 from the new extra-point distance, which ensures his stature as the Jets' clear-cut kicker, assuming he regains his previous prowess.
The 2016 surprise second-round selection seemed naturally destined for the starting job considering the fact that the Bucs traded up in the second round to nab him, and Barth consequently requested his release earlier Monday. Barth will leave Tampa as the most accurate kicker in franchise history (83.8 percent field-goal conversion rate), a standard that Aguayo will be expected to exceed in order to live up to the investment made in him. His pedigree as the most accurate kicker in NCAA history would seem to point to the fact that he would be up to the task, something that general manager Jason Licht is counting on. "The importance of special teams is paramount,'' Licht said. "And when you get a chance to get the best kicker in the history of college football, I didn't want to risk it. I like the confidence in him; I like the way he's wired. I like the body of work he's put out there obviously. A great kicker can be the difference in several games.''
Barth's upcoming release comes after the Buccaneers selected fellow kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round of this weekend's draft. After converting 23-of-28 field goal attempts for the Bucs last season, Barth will hope to earn a kicking job elsewhere ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Miller's role as Aguayo's trainer at the esteemed IMG Academy in nearby Bradenton, Florida is what makes his opinion particularly informed in Aguayo's case. One of the more talked-about selections of the draft considering the round that he was selected and his position, the Florida State product received rave reviews from Miller for his work ethic. "I couldn't be happier for the kid. He put the work in...He's a great student. He wants to be the best. He's very deserving of this opportunity." Despite the considerable criticism that's been levied at Tampa for the pick, the former Bucs assistant believes that the fact that 59 NFL regular-season games were decided by three points or less last year-- as well as the new rule that moves touchbacks to the 25-yard line-- justifies the investment in the former Seminole. Aguayo was successful on 90 percent of his college field-goal attempts, and was perfect on all 108 extra-point tries, making him the most accurate kicker in NCAA history.
Fairbairn made all 47 of his extra points and 20 of his 24 field-goal attempts during his seasons year. Nick Novak ended the 2015 season as the team's kicker, but he didn't perform so well that the Texans shouldn't entertain other options.
It's a surprising pick both because Aguayo is a kicker and because Connor Barth has actually done quite well as a kicker in Tampa Bay. Still, with Tampa spending a second-round pick on Aguayo, he's the starter for sure going forward. Aguayo was one of the most accurate kickers in college football history at Florida State, converting 69-of-78 field goal attempts and all 198 of his extra point attempts.