Bears add K Michael Badgley ahead of Giants game with Cairo Santos in question

The Bears are signing veteran kicker Michael Badgley, his agent tweeted, and it’s possible he will kick for them Sunday against the Giants. Cairo Santos missed practice Thursday and Friday for personal reasons, and coach Matt Eberflus listed him as questionable on the injury report.

If Santos does not travel with the team Saturday, the Bears are required to inform the public promptly. When asked Friday if the Bears needed another kicker as a contingency, Eberflus said, “I’m not answering that question. He’s got a personal issue, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Badgley, 27, hit 18 of 21 field goals and made all 39 of his extra points after joining the Colts midway through last season.

He grew up in Summit, N.J., which is about 30 minutes from MetLife Stadium.

Badgley kicked at the University of Miami and went undrafted in 2018. He has bounced among the Colts, Chargers, Titans and Jaguars since.

The Chargers picked him up in October 2018, and he lasted three seasons with them. He made 80% of his field goals and 95.3% of his extra points over 34 games.

Santos gave the Bears steadiness at one of their shakiest positions when he took the job in 2020. He set the franchise record that season by making 93.8% of his field goals.

In this three-season run with the Bears, he has made 60 of 66 field goals and 67 of 71 extra points (he also kicked briefly for them in 2017).

Santos made all five of his kicks — field goals from 47, 50 and 30 yards, plus two extra points — in the Bears’ 23-20 win over the Texans last week. He won the game on his 30-yarder as time expired.

“To kick a 50-yarder and make all his extra points and kick a game-winner, that’s what those guys live for,” special teams coordinator Richard Hightower said. “I couldn’t be happier with Cairo… I’m excited to see them kick again this week.”

Santos is especially valuable to the Bears because of how he well does at Soldier Field, which is widely recognized as the hardest place to kick in the NFL. He has made 90% of his field goals at home during his time with the Bears, the best in franchise history ahead of Robbie Gould at 83.2%.

There was no cause for concern until Santos missed practice Thursday because of an undisclosed personal reason. He also was out Friday, and coach Matt Eberflus gave zero indication of whether he thought he’d play. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.

The Bears had three kickers in for tryouts Friday: Josh Lambo, Brian Johnson and Badgley.

Lambo, 31, is the most experienced and accomplished of the trio. He has made 87.1% of his field goals and 89.9% of extra points since entering the NFL in 2015.

Johnson, who was on the Bears’ practice squad last year, was an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech. He played for the Saints and Commanders last season and made all 10 of his field goals and 9 of 13 extra points.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *