Following a second straight excellent season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, kicker Connor Barth has been hit with the franchise tag. With no other players worthy of the tag, the Bucs used it to make sure they can keep Barth, who will make $2.65 million if he signs the tender. The 25-year-old Barth was fantastic in 2011 while making $1.99 million, and probably would have commanded more than the franchise tag salary on the open market.
The Buccaneers were absolutely terrible at the tail end of last season, but Barth was a consistent performer. He made 92.9 percent of his field goals, up from 82.1 percent in 2010, and also made 17 total field goals from 40 yards or longer. Barth was inconsistent in his first two years with the Bucs and the Kansas City Chiefs, but he's since established himself as one of the best young kickers in football.