The combination of Cody Parkey’s kicking luck and the New Orleans’ Saints futile attempts to unearth a suitable kicking option in the wake of Will Lutz’s injury has led GM Ryan Pace’s former employer to poach his current team’s backup kicker option.
C’mon, now. Something this odd had to have Bears ties somewhere along the line.
The #Saints are signing kicker Brian Johnson off the #Bears practice squad, source said. He’ll head to the 53-man roster and by rule the UDFA from Virginia Tech must stay there for 3 games. https://t.co/BdzWqKY7Ok
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 12, 2021
What!? One former Bears kicker wasn’t enough?
New Orleans is reportedly signing kicker Brian Johnson off the Bears’ practice squad. Johnson was a standout camp performer who was also drilling kicks throughout the preseason. Even though Johnson made all of his kicks (2 FG, 3 PAT), he wan’t beating out Cairo Santos in camp. And the Bears couldn’t block his path forever. So, this was inevitable. But caps off to the camp leg who made the most of his opportunity and was able to latch onto someone’s 53-player roster. We’ll always remember that 54-yarder against the Bills. Training camp and preseason legends live forever, after all.
And yet, I can’t shake the feeling of disappointment that the Bears couldn’t coax a conditional late-round pick from some kicker-needy team. Ah, well. There’s always next summer to fleece t
he Vikings some unsuspecting and desperate team.
In the meantime, Chicago should probably seek out another break-in-case-of-emergency camp leg. Stashing a trustworthy leg on the practice squad isn’t the wort thing the Bears could do. Among the available free agents are veterans such as Dan Bailey and Stephen Gostkowski. Big-legged free-agent kickers with flashes of success in the past as part of an inconsistent career include Michael Badgley and Joey Slye. And Eddy Piñeiro — who was fine in 2019 before an injury opened the door for Cairo Santos to go full Wally Pipp mode — is also available. Just saying.
In the end, I never thought I’d see the day where other teams were pining for Bears kickers. And there were moments I thought Chicago would be a permanent stop for the brigade of traveling tryout kickers. But the space-time continuum has been off since Santos got on his heater. So, here we are! Instead of Chicago searching far and wide for kicking help, it’s New Orleans. Oh, to be in on the Sean Payton-Ryan Pace group message thread today.