The Bears’ search for a reliable kicker kicks into gear this weekend at their minicamp.
And they’re taking a decidedly clown-car approach.
Via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears will have eight kickers on hand for rookie minicamp (though they may or may not be arriving in a single vehicle).
Four of them are actually under contract (Chris Blewit, Redford Jones, Elliott Fry, and John Baron II), and they’re bringing in four more on a tryout basis (Justin Yoon, Spencer Evans, Emmit Carpenter, and Casey Bednarski).
“These guys have to compete,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “Get them out there and let them compete. It’s not going to be kicker specifically. It’s not going to be an easy competition. It’s about making your kicks under pressure and it’s as simple as that. Either you make it or you don’t. We’re going to test them out.”
The Bears have struggled to find consistency at the position since releasing Robbie Gould after the 2016 season. They might like to have Gould back now, but the 49ers aren’t trading their franchise-tagged kicker. The Bears cut Cody Parkey last year after his double-doink miss in the playoffs.
“It’ll all play itself out — I know it will,” Nagy said. “[General Manager] Ryan [Pace] and I have had long discussions about that, but I can promise you that Ryan has done an amazing job with his personnel scouts and turned over every rock to see who is out there and give them a chance. And let’s go.”
Nagy said the Bears “might get creative” with how they put pressure on the kickers during the workout, and short of making them ride together in one car with their big shoes if they don’t win the job, it’s reasonable to think these guys understand the stakes based on the numbers around them.