Why is Connor Barth Still Employed by Chicago Bears?


The Chicago Bears need to release Connor Barth, the question is why haven’t they?

Earlier this week, the Chicago Bears made a few minor roster moves. After another missed field goal by Connor Barth against the New Orleans Saints, there was speculation that perhaps the Bears might bring in a kicker or two for a tryout. But the Bears stood pat and Barth remains the Bears’ kicker.

The question is why?

Barth has really struggled this season in Chicago. While he’s been perfect from close range, he currently is 3 for 7 from 40+ yards. That is a woeful 43% accuracy and simply doesn’t cut the mustard.

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It would be one thing if Barth was coming off a great year so the Bears gave him a longer leash, but he’s coming off a season where he hit only 78% of his field goals and was only 4 for 7 from 40+.

If Barth had a large contract or if there weren’t better options available on the street it would be one thing, but there are better kickers that are sitting around waiting for a job. Harrison Butker was sitting on the Carolina Panthers practice squad before the Kansas City Chiefs signed him and he’s been fantastic for them. Heck, the Dallas Cowboys signed 35-year old Mike Nugent when Dan Bailey was injured and he’s 4 for 5 on field goals.

Cairo Santos is a very accurate kicker and is currently a free agent. So is someone like Dan Carpenter, who was a successful kicker in Buffalo and could handle the tricky winds of Chicago. That’s not to say that these options are Pro Bowl caliber kickers, but they are certainly better than Barth, yet for some reason, the Bears insist on trotting him out for field goals week after week.

The Bears are playing competitive football with a weak offense. That means the kicking game is even more critical for Chicago than it is for most teams. The Bears need a good field goal kicker. They are going to have games come down to the final kick, and if Barth is trotting out there for Chicago, nobody is going to have much faith that it’s going to sail through the uprights.