The Chicago Bears are likely in the market for a new kicker, and an intriguing option just became available.
Under no circumstances can the Chicago Bears bring back Cody Parkey. It cannot, and most likely, will not happen. Fans might revolt if they did. His dumpster-fire of a season was bad enough that whether he gets another job in the NFL may be in doubt.
With that said, there have been some different perspectives on how the team should solve their kicking woes. Recently, the team signed free agent Redford Jones who has never kicked on an NFL roster before.
There has also been much discussion about bringing back the beloved Robbie Gould, who seems to be doing everything he can to make his intent to return clear to all who will listen. However, it is likely going to cost a significant amount to do so, and the Bears, who are salary-cap strapped will have to contend with Cody Parkey’s approximately $4 million in dead money.
However, an interesting option emerged earlier today as the Atlanta Falcons released veteran kicker Matt Bryant. The reliable Bryant has been a mainstay for the Falcons for the last 10 seasons. Before that, he was incredibly reliable for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants.
The question will ultimately be what kind of deal he is looking for, but it will likely be cheaper than anything Gould is asking for — even with a hometown discount. If so, it could be a great way for the Bears to solve their kicking issues and still save some cap space to sign or re-sign other players.
Throughout his career, Bryant has connected on 86 percent of his field goals and 98 percent of his extra points. Some might argue that Bryant has benefitted largely from kicking indoors in a dome. While that might be true, it’s important to point out that in his career he has made 84 percent of his kicks outdoors compared to 89 indoors.
It’s also important to note that in his regular season career at Soldier Field, Bryant is perfect. He has made 9/9 of his extra points and 8/8 of his field goal attempts. No word on how many goal-posts he’s hit in his career. In any event, if the Bears can get that kind of production from their field goal kicker and not have to break the bank, sign me up.