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.
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.