TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released Connor Barth, the most accurate kicker in franchise history.
An 84 percent career field goal kicker in five NFL seasons with Kansas City and the Bucs, Barth missed all of 2013 after tearing the Achilles tendon in his right foot during a charity basketball game.
The Bucs announced the move Friday, when defensive end Larry English and offensive lineman Jamon Meredith also were released to begin the task of trimming the roster to the 53-man limit. The team waived 11 other players, leaving coach Lovie Smith to make eight more cuts by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Rookie Patrick Murray replaces Barth, who made a club-record 92.9 percent of his field goal attempts in 2011, when he hit 26 of 28. He set a team single-season mark with six of 50-plus yards in 2012, and led the NFL with 33 field goals of 40-plus yards over those two seasons.
Barth, 28, was headed toward the second season of a four-year, $13.2 million contract when he was injured during a charity basketball game in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.
He began kicking again last October and by January rebuilt strength in his right leg to the point he said he was hitting 61-yard field goals.
''Every year, there are difficult decisions that need to be made during this time of year as we get down to our 53-man roster,'' Smith said. ''We appreciate everything Connor has done for the Buccaneers on and off the field over these past five years, but this decision was based on the best interests of our team moving forward.''
The other significant move of the day was the release of Meredith. He entered training camp as the starting right guard, but lost the job with a poor performance in the first preseason game.
Meanwhile, linebackers Nate Askew and Ka'Lial Glaud, tackle Edawn Coughman, cornerbacks Anthony Gaitor, Keith Lewis and Kip Edwards, fullback Lonnie Pryor, defensive end T.J. Fatinikin, defensive back Marc Anthony and offensive linemen Andrew Miller and Jeremiah Warren were waived.
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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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