The Chicago Bears’ kicking game has been a major disappointment since the team cut Robbie Gould before the start of the 2016 season, but Cody Parkey represents a new hope for a franchise desperate to score points.
Player, Age (in 2018), Position
Cody Parkey, 26, kicker
- 4 years, $15 million ($9 million guaranteed)
- $2.25 million signing bonus
- $3.75 million average salary
- Season stats: 16 games, 21 of 23 on field goals (91.3%), 26 of 29 on extra points (89.7%)
Parkey had his most accurate season as a pro in 2017, making more than 90 percent of his field goal attempts. He was particularly accurate in short and medium range, where he made all 14 of his attempts from between 20-39 yards. Bears kickers weren’t that fortunate, but let’s not go down that road because there’s no need to re-live some of those painful memories.
- Career stats: 49 games, 76 of 88 on field goals (86.4%), 107 of 111 on extra points (96.4%)
- Notable achievements: Pro Bowl (2014), NFL All-Rookie Team (2014), AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 2, 2017), has two seasons finishing in the top-10 in field goal percentage.
Parkey jumped onto the scene with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014 and made an immediate impact. He made 32 of 34 attempts and connected on all 54 extra-point attempts. Parkey’s efforts landed him a spot in the Pro Bowl, but a groin injury ended his season after three games and set him off on an NFL odyssey.
Since leaving Philadelphia, Parkey spent time in Cleveland (where he crossed paths with Bears ST Coordinator Chris Tabor) and Miami. Despite playing on one-year contracts in each of the last two years, Parkey has made 85.4 percent of his field goals and 92 percent of his PATs since the start of the 2016 season.
Parkey was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury on September 28, 2015. He was released nearly a year later by the Eagles, which started his travels around the NFL.
The Bears would have loved to have Parkey’s production over the last two years. Connor Barth struggled mightily during his two-year, 26-game stint in Chicago, making just 29 of his 39 kicks (which comes out to a woeful 74.4 percent). That led to Cairo Santos arriving in Chicago, but an injury ended his brief Bears career, which resulted in the team turning to Mike Nugent for the final four games of the season.
Throw in the failed Roberto Aguayo experiment and you can see why the Bears were eager to lock in on an accurate kicker like Parkey.
Anyone who is up to the task of matching Robbie Gould’s success is OK in my book: “It’s clearly possible to be a great kicker here,” said Parkey. “I’m up for the challenge, and I’m up to go out there and do my best.”
You can check out Parkey’s thoughts from his introductory press conference here: