Position Battles: Kicker
The kicker position will be heavily scrutinized by Chicago coaches, media, and fans all the way from training camp through the playoffs.
This will undoubtedly be the most followed battle during Bears training camp and preseason games. Plenty of Bears fans truly just want to look past former kicker Cody Parkey, but it’s tough to do. Throughout this process, the Bears have had up to six kickers on the roster. They are now down to just two on the roster.
First up is Elliott Fry. He had a solid college career at South Carolina, where he connected on 66 of 88 field goals and 161 of 162 extra points. His most recent action came in the AAF, where he was a perfect 14 for 14 on field goals with his longest coming from 44 yards out. However, there have been some struggles during offseason workouts. Can he get back on track to become that same kicker he was in college and the AAF?
Next up is Eddy Pineiro, who came to the Bears from Oakland by way of trade back in May. The Bears added an electric kicker to the room in Pineiro. His leg was most notably on display in the 2018 preseason and in college. In his two seasons at the University of Florida, he went 38 for 43 on field goals. From 50 yards out, he was a perfect 5 for 5 with 54 yards being his longest, so the leg is no issue for him. Prior to hurting his groin during the 2018 preseason, he was a perfect 3 for 3 on extra points for the Raiders, while also adding in 45 and 48-yard field goals. Will he be able to continue that success in Chicago?
What other options do the Bears have with few reliable kickers available in free agency? The best option of the group would be Matt Bryant. Age is certainly an area of concern, but the 44-year-old Bryant has been deadly accurate in his 17-year career. He has recorded an 86.2 field goal percentage while going 98.8% on extra points. This could be an option for the team if neither Fry nor Pineiro emerges as the favorite in training camp. The final option would be to trade for a kicker. A trade possibility to keep in mind would be Kaare Vedvik from Baltimore. He’s been accurate on extra points, but he did not start kicking field goals until his final season in college, where he went 10 for 16 in 13 games.
So, where will this battle lead us before week one of the season against Green Bay? Who will be the kicker? Is the answer on the roster now or will it come from outside the organization? Best of luck to all these kickers because that position will be heavily scrutinized by Chicago coaches, media, and fans all the way from training camp through the playoffs.
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