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The Chicago Bears are doing their due diligence in mending their kicking situation, and they’re getting it done early.
The Bears will work out six or seven kickers Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, in an attempt to put pressure on and potentially replace $15 million man Cody Parkey.
Parkey on thin ice
Parkey drew the ire of Bears fans when he missed the potential 43-yard game-winner in the NFC wildcard round. The NFL officially changed the scoring the following day to tipped ball.
It was no surprise to Chicagoans. The 26-year-old kicker bounced four kicks off the uprights in a November game. It contributed to a total seven missed field goals of 30 attempts. Three were between 30 and 39 yards and three more from 40 to 49 yards.
Combined with three missed extra points, he had a league-high 10 missed kicks in 2018.
He later drew the ire of his head coach, Matt Nagy, and Bears general manager Ryan Pace by speaking about the missed playoff kick on the Today show.
He signed a four-year, $15 million contract that included $9 million in guaranteed money during free agency last year. But Pace insisted the position is a priority and they need to see more production from it.
Bears bring in squadron to compete
Former New York Jets veteran Nick Folk is one of the kickers making a January trek to Chicago for a workout, according to Schefter. The team will also work out veteran Blair Walsh, according to Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network, and Austin MacGinnis.
Folk, an 11-year veteran, is 245-for-305 on field goals in his career. He didn’t play in 2018 and previously was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jets and Dallas Cowboys.
Walsh is 154-for-187 on career field goals and knows about missing potential game-winners in the postseason. He spent five years with the Minnesota Vikings and last season with the Seattle Seahawks.
MacGinnis, Kentucky’s single-season record holder, was in the Bears minicamp last season.
Chicago had another kicking contest early this month but none of those guys will be kicking for the Bears any time soon.
Bears sign Redford Jones
The Bears ended up signing former Tulsa kicker Redford Jones on Friday night, according to his management team.
Jones played at Tulsa from 2015-2017, and made 98.3 percent of his extra point attempts. He made 50-of-67 field goal attempts.
The 24-year-old was a free agent before signing with the Bears on Friday.
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