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Monday, March 5, 2012
Bucs franchise kicker Connor Barth

By Pat Yasinskas

As expected, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday afternoon they have placed the franchise tag on kicker Connor Barth.

The Bucs had attempted to negotiate a long-term contract with Barth, but weren’t able to pull that off before Monday afternoon’s deadline. They still can sign Barth to a long-term deal.

But, while he carries the franchise tag, Barth will cost $2.6 million against the cap. Barth has emerged as one of the league’s most accurate young kickers. In 2011, he completed 26 of 28 field-goal attempts (92.9 percent, which ranked second in the league. Barth also finished the season by making his final 15 field goals, giving him the longest active streak in the NFL.

Coincidentally, the Bucs can say they have a punter and a kicker that have carried the franchise tag. Punter Michael Koenen was once hit with the franchise tag while he was with the Atlanta Falcons.

The New Orleans Saints previously placed the franchise tag on quarterback Drew Brees and the Atlanta Falcons used it on cornerback Brent Grimes. The Carolina Panthers have elected not to use the franchise tag this year.