After missing 11 field goals in the 2018 regular season, Cody Parkey is on thin ice with the Chicago Bears. The signing of Redford Jones to compete with Parkey for the spot makes it seem like his days are numbered in Chicago.
This upcoming NFL Draft is a great spot to possibly draft or sign a rookie kicker. Another possibility is bringing back a familiar face. Here are a few options for the Bears’ vacant kicker spot in 2019.
Gould was a fan favorite in Chicago since joining the team in 2005. After his departure in 2015, the team struggled to find a long term kicker.
Gould, meanwhile, continued his successful career with the Giants and 49ers. He attempted 85 field goals and made 82 over the span of three years. As fun as it would be to have him back on the team, I’m just not sure the front office would go for it, as Gould is a 14-year vet at the age of 36. I would absolutely love to see him in a Bears jersey again, but with the front office going younger at almost every position, it seems a little far-fetched.
As a graduate transfer at LSU, Tracy never missed an extra point attempt, and in 2018, he went 25 for 29 on field goals with only one of the misses coming on a kick shorter than 50 yards. He transferred from Division II Assumption College, where he won the best kicker award for the 2017 season. Another claim to fame Tracy had this season was going 5-5 in the Tigers’ upset of the then-fifth ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
Tracy has proved on multiple occasions that he has very high potential and would make a great addition to a Chicago team that has longed for a franchise kicker. He is projected to be picked between the 4th and 6th rounds of the draft
In 2018, Seibert was considered one of the most accurate kickers in all of Division I football, finishing the season 15-17 with a long of 42 yards. Don’t let his lackluster maximum fool you – he was part of a Sooners team that had such an explosive offense that they rarely needed to kick a field goal. He brings plenty of experience as a four year starter with Oklahoma. He is projected to go between the fifth and seventh rounds in the draft.
The acquisition of Khalil Mack left the Bears short on draft picks for the next few years. This means that they might focus those picks on more important areas of need, so signing an undrafted free agent might be the route the Bears take. There are plenty of kickers that the Bears can sign after the draft has concluded.
During his 3 year tenure as a starter at the University of Illinois, McLaughlin did not miss an extra point. Yes, you read that correctly. He was 100% on extra points for 3 straight years. In addition to his immaculate extra point percentage, in the 2018 season he went 20-25 on field goals. McLaughlin is expected to go undrafted which makes him a very low risk option to add to the kicking competition in Chicago.
Donald De La Haye
De La Haye might be even more of a stretch than Robbie Gould, but his story makes him a personal favorite so I thought I’d include him in this list. The short version is that De La Haye had a Youtube channel that he was using to earn money, so the tyranny of the NCAA forced him to stop making Youtube videos or his scholarship would be revoked. Before the NCAA could even issue a statement, UCF deemed him ineligible and revoked his scholarship. He had to withdraw from the school because he could not afford to attend without his scholarship.
In my opinion, the Bears should target him because he has more to prove than any other kicker in the NFL Draft and he is another low risk option that could add extra competition. He is a bit of a stretch because he never kicked a field goal in college.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Signing a kicker that never kicked a field goal sounds like the dumbest thing possible an organization can do. He posts incredible videos of him doing back flips while nailing 30 yard plus field goals. Along with those, he has videos of him making 40 and 50 yard kicks with ease. If you would like to check out his content, his Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram are all @Deestroying
Kickers aren’t usually noticed until they either miss a field goal or make a huge hit, but they are often put under a massive amount of pressure in key moments. Having a reliable kicker could be the difference between moving on tho the next round of the playoffs or being eliminated once again,
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