Bears to bring in five kickers for rookie minicampMay 25, 2019
General manager Ryan Pace wasn’t kidding when he said the Bears are open to all kicking options.
The Bears will sign San Diego State kicker John Baron II, who made all five of his field-goal tries from 50 yards or longer last season, as an undrafted free agent.
It appears at least four other kickers will join him for the Bears’ rookie minicamp Friday through Sunday. They won’t be under contract, but they will attend practices as tryout players.
Minnesota State-Mankato punter/kicker Casey Bednarski and Minnesota kicker Emmit Carpenter are on the list, according to their private coaches at Kohl’s Kicking.
Carpenter made 53 of 67 field goals and all but one extra point in three seasons with the Golden Gophers. Bednarski made 15 of 23 field goals last season, with a long of 55 yards, and punted 44 times for an average of 39.5 yards.
McNeese State said punter/kicker Alex Kjellsten will try out, too. He averaged 43.8 yards on 78 punts last season and handled the Cowboys’ kickoff duties. He had 34 touchbacks on 51 attempts.
Purdue said kicker Spencer Evans also will attend the minicamp on a tryout. He made 18 of 23 field goals last season, but his long was 41 yards.
Pace vowed to continue casting a wide net in trying to replace Cody Parkey, who double-doinked his way out of town. The Bears have three other kickers under contract: Elliott Fry, Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt. It is unclear whether they will take part in the minicamp. None has kicked in an NFL game, including the preseason.
On Saturday, Pace wouldn’t rule out the Bears eventually turning to a veteran. Robbie Gould, the Bears’ all-time leading scorer, has demanded a trade from the 49ers, citing a desire to play closer to his Chicago home.
‘‘ ‘Thorough’ is the word I want to use,’’ Pace said Saturday. ‘‘ ‘Thorough.’ Like looking under every stone and being thorough with this whole evaluation.’’