When Connor Barth signed a four-year, $13.2 million extension with the Buccaneers this offseason, it seemed like a good thing for the slew of other kickers franchised by their teams.
Barth landed the third-biggest multi-year contract (Phil Dawson of the Browns stands to make $3.81 million if he plays under his franchise tender) for a kicker in all of football and plenty of people theorized that the rising tide would carry Dawson, Mike Nugent of the Bengals, Matt Prater of the Broncos and Josh Scobee of the Jaguars to new contracts. Dawson and Nugent signed their tenders, but neither has landed a long-term deal with their Ohio employers. Prater and Scobee haven’t signed their tenders with two weeks left before the deadline for franchised players to sign multi-year extensions.
According to Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange, Barth’s contract is one of the stumbling blocks for those four players. Barth got that deal despite the fact that he doesn’t handle the kickoff duties for the Bucs and the agents for the other kickers are using that as part of an argument that their clients should be making more money, especially in an NFL where touchbacks are playing such a big role.
The four kickers have had different experiences this offseason. Scobee has expressed frustration with the Jaguars’ approach to the process multiple times this offseason, but we heard that Prater and Denver were close on a deal two weeks ago. Nothing’s happened there, obviously, and there haven’t been any signs that the two tender-signers will be signing new deals any time soon.
Barth’s contract likely isn’t the only reason for the lack of deals, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be the helping hand that many assumed when the contract was initially announced.