Roster moves aren't common in the NFL in mid-July. Unfortunately, sometimes they are necessary.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were forced to make a series of moves on Tuesday after Connor Barth, the most accurate placekicker in franchise history, sustained an Achilles tendon injury that will cause him to miss the 2013 season. The Buccaneers signed veteran kicker Lawrence Tynes, a 2012 Pro Bowl alternate, filling the void at kicker quickly and with a surprisingly strong replacement.
Barth will be placed on the reserve/non-football injury list.
"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."
Barth tore his right Achilles tendon while playing in a charity basketball game with other NFL players on Friday. The sixth-year veteran had successful surgery to repair the injury on Monday but is not expected to return to the field season. Barth, who was heading into the second year of a four-year contract extension signed last offseason, has made a team-record 84.3% of his field goal attempts since signing with the Buccaneers midway through the 2009 season. In 2011, he set a single-season franchise record by making 26 of 28 tries for a success rate of 92.9%.
Tynes, a veteran of nine NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants, has made 190 of his 233 career field goal attempts (81.5%) and is coming off one of his best seasons in 2012. Playing in all 16 games for the Giants, he made 33 of 39 field goal tries (84.6%) and all 46 extra point attempts for a career-best 145 points, the second-highest total in the NFL. He became an unrestricted free agent in March.
Tynes has played at least 15 games in eight of his nine NFL seasons, reaching triple digits in scoring in each of those eight campaigns en route to 927 career points. Over the last five seasons in New York, he has made 99 of 119 field goal attempts (83.2%) and 180 consecutive extra point tries. He has also been a postseason hero for the Giants, making 13 of 17 field goal tries, including overtime winners in the 2007 NFC Championship Game at Green Bay and the 2011 NFC Championship Game at San Francisco. Tynes is the only player in NFL history to make two overtime game-winning field goals in the playoffs, in both cases propelling the Giants to an eventual Super Bowl victory. In the 2007 conference championship game, his game-winner was a 47-yarder, the longest postseason field goal in Lambeau Field history. In the Giants' two Super Bowl wins over New England, games decided by a combined seven points, Tynes was perfect on three field goal attempts and three extra points.
Born in Scotland, Tynes moved with his family to the United States at the age of 10 and played his high school football in the town of Milton in Florida's panhandle. An AP All-American as a senior at Troy University, he originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001. Though he failed to make the Chiefs' roster in 2001 or 2002 and ended up playing two seasons in the Canadian Football League, Tynes returned to Kansas City in 2004 and won the team's placekicking job. After three seasons in Kansas City, he was trade to the Giants in 2007 in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.