There is a new leg in the mix in the Chicago Bears’ kicking competition:
We have signed kicker Elliott Fry to a three-year contract.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 12, 2019
The Bears announced they have signed free agent kicker Elliott Fry to a three-year contract. Fry joins Chris Blewitt and Redford Jones as kickers vying to fill the void left by Cody Parkey, who was released at the outset of the offseason. There was a belief that the Bears would pass on signing a kicker after a recent tryout didn’t result in the team signing any of the participants. Instead, the team waited a few days and landed a different ex-AAF kicker who found success in the down-on-its-luck developmental league. So let’s talk about the new guy!
Fry had a stellar collegiate career at South Carolina and has some interesting prospect pedigree. After starting his career with the Gamecocks as a walk-on, Fry walked off campus as the school’s all-time leading scorer and one of the best kickers in the uber-competitive SEC. Fry earned All-SEC honors and was a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award (given to college football’s best kicker) as a senior in 2014, but didn’t get much of a sniff from NFL teams when he was eligible to make the jump to the big leagues. But Fry clearly made a strong impression on someone at Halas Hall after going 14-for-14 on field goals while playing for the AAF’s Orlando Apollos.
The Bears have taken a firm stance in their offseason plans to unearth their next kicker. Tryouts followed by a competition that will go through the preseason will ultimately lead the team to its Parkey replacement. It’s a strategy that is backed by long-time special teams guru Dave Toub, so at least it’s roots are in a good place. Now that the Bears have three kickers in house, the only thing left to wonder is if they will add another kicker in (or after) the upcoming NFL Draft. Stay tuned, Bears fans. The kicking competition that will come will certainly be some heck of a ride.