There’s a bit of sting for Bears fans after their 16-15 loss to the Eagles at Soldier Field. The game was a defensive battle that came down to a missed field goal attempt that ironically hit the goal post and crossbar. Philadelphia scored a go-ahead touchdown with a minute left . . . but then they almost lost on a last minute, 43-yard field goal by Chicago. The Eagles called a last second timeout to ‘ice the kicker.’ Statistically speaking, it rarely works. But this time it did. Bears kicker Cody Parkey actually MADE the kick that was nullified by the time out. But when he kicked it again, he “double-doinked” the ball . . . somehow hitting both the goalpost AND the crossbar. To make matters even worse, this was the SIXTH time he’s missed a kick by hitting the goalpost this season, including four times in a SINGLE GAME against Detroit back in November. But this time it wasn’t all his fault. Eagles defensive lineman Treyvon Hester tipped the ball with his left hand. Even so, how many Bears fans were thinking before the kick “I hope he doesn’t hit the goal post”. The fact that most Bears fans even thought that means our first off season move should be to fix the kicking game. Yes the Bears will take a big salary cap hit if they do it.
Cody Parkey signed a 4 year, $15,000,000 contract with the Chicago Bears, including a $2,250,000 signing bonus, $9,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,750,000. In 2018, Parkey will earn a base salary of $1,250,000, a signing bonus of $2,250,000 and a roster bonus of $2,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $3,812,500 and a dead cap value of $9,000,000. That’s a ton of money but, whether the ball was tipped or not, any close game the Bears play is going to have the same question, “Is this guy going to hit the goal post”? This was a bad signing, with a lot of Guaranteed money. But is it worth asking this question every time Parkey lines up for a big kick? Here are some of the Free Agent kickers available this year in the free agent market. Yes former Bear kicker Robbie Gould is on the list making 97% of his kicks, but he’s expensive. Also available is Will Lutz of the Saints or Aldrick Rosas of the Giants which might be a cheaper alternative. Either way this is going to be a very hard decision. Money or piece of mind? What would you do? We think a Go-Fund Me page “Bears Kicker Fund” might be the answer. Have every Bears fan kick in $2 to offset the money we owe him and move on. Apparently one fan has started that page. Here it is.
As far as free agent Kickers, here’s a list with their kicking percentage and what they make. By comparison Parkey was at 76% (23 for 30), at the bottom of NFL kickers this year.