“Well, what else am I supposed to do, you know?” Barth laughed. “I’ve got to do something here. It seems like I’ve always got to … but, you know, it is what it is. It’s just life. My parents always say, control what you can control. At the end of the day, it’s all you can do. In any job, in your jobs, it’s competitive with anything you do. You just got to go out there, and perform and it’s a performance-based business.
"At the end of the day, if you don’t do it, you’re not going to be anywhere. I’ve somehow hung around for a little bit. Try to continue to work and kick well, and if I keep kicking like I did today, hopefully things will work out. If not here, somewhere else.”
Aguayo, who arrived at Bears camp late Sunday night, watched practice but not kick in team drills.
As fate would have it, Barth was cut by Tampa last preseason to make room for Aguayo, whom the Bucs drafted in the second round out of Florida State.
“To be honest, the Tampa curse just will not go away. But it is what it is," Barth said. "Like I said, I’ve played, what, this is my 10th training camp? If I ever said I was going to do that, it’s been a good run. I’m just trying to enjoy it as long as I can, and whatever happens, happens. I’ve got a great beach house to go back to in North Carolina. We’re renovating a house. It’s good times right now. So I’ve got a lot of other things I’m thinking about too. This is life, man. This is what it’s all about.”
Aguayo said he doesn’t expect the reunion with Barth to get uncomfortable, even though both are gunning for the same job.
“You got to embrace it,” Aguayo said. “When I got the call I knew he was here, but at the end of the day this is our job and things are going to happen. It is what it is. It’s out of our control. He’s a good guy, and I’m just going to embrace it and be cordial out here. He’s a good guy. All these guys are good people that I’ve met out here. I’m excited to be here and get to work.”
Barth hit 18-of-23 field-goal attempts (78.3 percent) for the Bears last season.
Aguayo converted 71 percent of his kicks (22-of-31) with the Bucs in 2016. The second-year kicker then missed a field goal and extra point in Tampa’s first preseason game that sealed his fate.
“We’re trying to improve our football team and trying to make it competitive,” Bears coach John Fox said. “He’s a guy that we had high grades on as Roberto was coming up. I think it creates competition. Connor had a great day. We had a field goal day today and he was 100 percent in all of his kicks. So I think that competition is good for our football team.”