Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace said he is open to any number of paths when it comes to fixing the kicker position ahead of the 2019-2020 season – including, it seems, the possibility of trading for a leg. And that got me to start thinking …
In a recent edition of an NFL.com mailbag, analyst Dan Hanzus was offered up a question that would otherwise be described as “off-the-wall” by most standards. But since we’re talking about the Bears’ kicking game, all options must remain on the table:
If you were the Ravens GM and the Bears offered you their 2021 1st round pick (2020 already gone in the Mack trade) for Justin Tucker would you take it?
— Heo (@Heowl89) July 17, 2019
A future first-round pick for a kicker would be laughable in most cases, but Hanzus isn’t chuckling … and Justin Tucker isn’t any ol’ run-of-the-mill kicker.
Tucker is a three-time first-team All-Pro who is the active and career leader in field goal percentage, which is reason enough for Hanzus to believe the idea of the Bears trading for Ravens star kicker Justin Tucker makes sense.
And for what it’s worth, Hanzus’ reasoning is quite sound: “If you’re Bears GM Ryan Pace, and you believe your team has enough talent to win the Super Bowl right now, and you know Robbie Gould is no longer an option, Tucker makes a lot of sense. Again, most people don’t believe any kicker is worth a late-first-round pick. But people need to stop sleeping on how important a kicker really is.”
If anyone knows how important a kicker is, it’s a Bears team that watched their season go kerplunk after the double-doink.
So in that vein, trading for Tucker isn’t as wacky as you would have previously thought. But that’s only if we think of it from the Bears’ side of things. From the Ravens’ perspective, it’s nearly impossible to think they would trade their most reliable offensive threat after signing him to a multi-year extension. That leaves trading a conditional future (and lesser) pick for his acclaimed backup, Kaare Vedvik — which is something we kicked around earlier in the offseason.
Chicago’s hunt for a kicker could still take any number of turns between now and September 5 when the season opens up, but I wouldn’t bet on a splash move like one that would bring in one of the league’s all-time greatest kickers.