Bears bring back kicker Connor Barth for another season

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears brought back kicker Connor Barth, the club announced on Tuesday.

After a shaky start to 2016, Barth finished the season 18-of-23 on field goal attempts and 31-of-31 on extra points.

Terms: One year

Grade: C-plus/B-minus Barth walked into a tough spot last season after Bears management unceremoniously dumped Robbie Gould -- the franchise’s all-time leading scorer -- following the fourth preseason game. To his credit, Barth handled the situation like a true professional. He missed a couple of kicks early in the season, but eventually settled in and did a serviceable job.

What it means: Barth did enough to warrant a return. The veteran kicker doesn’t have the strongest leg in the league, but he nailed a 54-yard field goal versus Tampa Bay in November. He also connected from 49 yards at Indianapolis, though he also missed from 49 yards in the same game. There is something to be said about having a kicker with experience. Prior to Chicago, Barth kicked for Kansas City, Denver and Tampa Bay. He won points last year for the way he dealt with the Gould fiasco. NFL specialists are a tight-knit group. Barth did not disrupt the existing chemistry, and appeared to fit right in.

What’s the risk: You can’t say Barth is better than Gould. The former Bear went 10-for-10 on field goal attempts in New York last season, but did miss three extra point attempts. Still, Gould just signed for two-years in San Francisco with $1 million in guarantees ($500,000 signing bonus and $500,000 of his $1.5 million base salary. Barth received one-year with a low guaranteed. Money talks in the NFL. But given all the available options, the Bears felt comfortable enough with Barth to move forward. You can always find a new kicker midseason if necessary.