TAMPA — Kicker Connor Barth, placed on the Non-Football Injury List after rupturing his Achilles tendon this summer while participating in a charity basketball game, will receive $500,000 from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said Wednesday that a deal has been worked out to pay Barth $500,000, although Tampa Bay was under no obligation to honor any part of his 2013 contract. After the 2011 season, Barth signed a four-year deal worth $13.2 million, with $4 million guaranteed.
He was scheduled to make $2.3 million in 2013 before he suffered the injury to his right kicking leg July 18, shortly before the Bucs reported to training camp.
“We're going to honor $500,000 of Connor's contract this year,'' Dominik said. “It was the right thing to do. It's unfortunate what happened to him at a charity event. We set up his contract to give him an opportunity to earn his final two years and we're very happy where he is in his rehabilitation.''
Dominik said Barth's contract for the 2014 season has been restructured, in part to protect the organization, but his deal for 2015 remains unaltered.
“We've made sure he can make all his money, assuming he makes our team next year,'' said Dominik. “We have a lot of respect for Connor as a person and as a player. He's been a good Buccaneer and we were able to find common ground.''
Dominik said he was optimistic Barth can make a full recovery from his ruptured Achilles in time to compete for Tampa Bay's kicking job next summer.
After Barth was injured, the Bucs signed veteran kicker Rian Lindell last month. He missed a 47-yard field- goal attempt this past Sunday against New Orleans before the Saints rallied for a 16-14 triumph.
Barth, 27, is the most accurate kicker in franchise history, converting 84.3 percent of his field-goal attempts since joining the Bucs in 2009. At one point, Barth had reeled off a streak of 25 consecutive successful kicks for the Bucs.
Barth extended his range in recent years, making six of nine field-goal tries from 50 yards or more last season. His led all NFL kickers with 33 field goals of at least 40 yards in the past two seasons.
Change of scenery
Former Bucs CB Aqib Talib, traded to New England for a fourth-round draft pick last November, is flourishing with the Patriots.
Talib forced a fumble and posted two interceptions against the Jets last week in a 13-10 triumph and coach Bill Belichick praised the 2008 first-round pick as a leader.
“Aqib has been great, I've really enjoyed having him on our team,'' Belichick said. “He's obviously a very good player, but he's become a good leader for us. We gave up a pretty good pick for him, so I'm sure it was a good deal both ways.''
Bucs WR Mike Williams is looking forward to playing against Talib, who picked off 18 passes in 58 games with Tampa Bay.
“He looks good,'' Williams said. “He's one of their top defenders over there and they've kind of changed their defense toward him, playing a lot more man-to-man. I've always said Aqib's top-four in the league at his position.''
Pro Bowl LG Carl Nicks, who missed the final nine games of 2012 with a toe injury that required surgery, practiced in pads Wednesday and appeared optimistic he will make his season debut Sunday at Gillette Stadium, where the Pats have won 31 of their past 34 games. …DT Derek Landri will be sidelined at least a few weeks due to an MCL injury to his left knee, Schiano said. …With three more victories, Belichick will pass Chuck Noll for No. 5 on the NFL's all-time coaching list with 210 career wins.