Can Patrick Murray Win the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Kickers Job?


Sept. 30, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker

Connor Barth

(10) celebrates after kicking the go-ahead field goal late in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium. Washington defeated Tampa Bay 24-22. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times wrote a very interesting story about Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Patrick Murray.

However, NFL teams only have one room for a kicker and the Bucs have a rather good one as it is in Connor Barth.

So it begs to question whether Murray really can supplant Barth as the Bucs kicker in 2014.

The answer is not likely, although Bucs head coach Lovie Smith did sing Murray’s praises.

However, Smith made it clear that right now Barth is their guy.

Murray brings a great resume with him out of Fordham. He has vast experience as both a punter and a kicker and in 2011 was named an All-American as a punter and in 2012 he received the same award but as a kicker. In 2012, he connected on 25-of-30 field goals.

The 23 year olds punting ability could hinder Michael Koenen‘s chances of making the final 53-man roster but it doesn’t appear right now that his roster spot is in jeopardy.

Murray’s strong leg is enticing but Barth’s history as the Bucs kicker could be what keeps him in town.

Barth missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in a charity basketball game. The Bucs sorely missed him as Rian Lindell struggled all year long.

In 2012, Barth connected on 28-of-33 field goals and in 2011 was 26-of-28. In his four seasons with the Bucs he has never missed an extra point.

Barth is signed through the 2016 season for a reasonable $3.3 million a year as part of the four-year deal he signed after the 2012 season.

Tampa Bay has only kicked one field goal in two preseason games, which Barth connected on.

Perhaps the biggest stat of all in Barth’s favour is that he has the highest field goal percentage success rate in Buccaneers franchise history.

Murray could well land a job with another team and while he certainly has the make-up to be a successful NFL kicker, the Bucs already have one who has proven to be fantastic in Barth.