The Chicago Bears are still searching for a new kicker after Cody Parkey’s double-doink knocked the team out of the playoffs this past season. That, in combination with the kicker’s appearance on the Today show, did not sat well with the franchise and even led Chicago to take a $4.4 million dead cap hit just to move on from him. Workouts have been going on for a few months now so let’s check in to see how things are going.
Hm, not great! Luckily for those eight unfortunate souls—four of which are kickers under contract while the other four are from rookie minicamp—coach Matt Nagy is willing to be as patient as possible with these tryouts. The Bears plan on having a complete competition for the spot in July during training camp, so this notable failure won’t be the sole factor that determines who makes the team.
“We have a method to our madness, and again, I think for us, just besides finding a kicker and being able to see what they can do in practice, we want to be able to see as much as we can in game situations, how they handle that, too,” Nagy said. “Because it’s one thing to be able to go over and bang 8-for-8 when it doesn’t really matter. But what about when it matters? You know that’s what we’re trying to figure out too because we have young kickers, and we’re trying to create that.”
It seems like a smart approach for a team that’s been unable to find consistency at that position since Robbie Gould left. Teams in today’s NFL have a nasty habit of forgetting just how important having a good kicker is until the undrafted free agent they picked up in December is shanking game-winners.
Still, of the eight players who attempted a field goal from that memorable distance on Friday, none of them should feel residual jitters from recreating that experience. Not a single one of those kickers were responsible for that miss against the Eagles, so if that distance is a problem for 75 percent of them, then the issue might not solely be on the kickers, it might just be the team itself.
Nice, it’s been way too long since Chicago last had a cursed sports franchise.