Obsessive Kicker Watch: Bears Reportedly Scheduling a Work Out with Nick Folk (and Others)

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Obsessive Kicker Watch: Bears Reportedly Scheduling a Work Out with Nick Folk (and Others)

Chicago Bears

Cody Parkey may be standing on thin ice, but it has nothing to do with the sub-zero temperatures in Chicago today:

The Chicago Bears’ search to improve a desperate kicking situation is off and running, and for that, we can rejoice. A source informs Schefter that the team is scheduled to work out 34-year-old place kicker Nick Folk, but will also cast a “fairly wide net” in their search for some competition for Parkey. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport has more information on who could be under that net, reporting that Blair Walsh and Austin MacGinnis are also part of this workout.

Walsh was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2012 when he made a league-high 35 kicks and connected on 92.1 percent of his attempts. But he never lived up to that rookie year in the five years that followed and is unfortunately best remembered for missing a chip-shot that would’ve won a playoff game for the Vikings in January 2016:

Folk didn’t kick in 2018 and his 2017 season was nothing to write home about. He beat out Roberto Aguayo and Zach Hocker in training camp with the Buccaneers back in 2017, but missed three field goals in a 19-14 loss on Thursday Night Football against the Patriots in Week 5. Folk went on injured reserve after just four games and was released in February 2018. I’m not sure if the Bears are wise to be trying out kickers with multiple high-profile missed kicks in their most recent NFL outing, but I suppose we’re at a point where anyone and everyone should be an option.

Prior to his brief stint in Tampa Bay, Folk had a respectable seven-year run with the Jets where he connected on 82.2 percent of his kicks. Folk’s best stretch with the Jets came in final four seasons when he made 86.1 percent of his attempts, but his best season might have come as a rookie when he earned a Pro Bowl nomination while with the Cowboys back in 2007. There is a track record of success with Folk, but the recent numbers don’t paint the most optimistic picture.

GM Ryan Pace made it clear the team intends to bring in bodies to compete with Parkey during the offseason and it’s encouraging that the Bears aren’t wasting time in doing so. In addition to Folk, the team met with Senior Bowl standout Cole Tracy. The powers that be in Chicago exhibited unrivaled faith in Parkey during the regular season, so much so they didn’t bring in any competition when he had clunker performances earlier in the season. But better late than never, I suppose.

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.