According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chicago Bears are scheduled to work out kicker Nick Folk, who last kicked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017. The Bucs put him on injured reserve that season after 4 games with tendinitis in his left knee, which is his plant leg. He ended up having surgery for the ailment, but was cleared for football activities almost a year ago.
Schefter also reported that Folk will be one of several kickers the Bears will work out. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting two of the other kickers are veteran Blair Walsh and Austin MacGinnis.
The 34-year old Folk was a Pro Bowler with the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie in 2007. He played in Dallas from ‘07 to 2009, and he was with the New York Jets from 2010 to 2016. He’s a career 80.3% kicker on field goals and 98.8% on extra points.
Walsh, a 6th-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2012, was also a Pro Bowler as a rookie. The Vikes released him after nine games of the 2016 season where he was 75% on field goals and just 78.9% on extra points. He kicked for the Seahawks last year and was 72.4% and 97.4% respectively. The 29-year old is a career 82.4% field goal kicker.
MacGinnis was in Bears minicamp last year after a stellar career for the Kentucky Wildcats where is the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Four Star Sports claims to have a source naming these other kickers getting tryouts with the Bears too, Redford Jones, Ernesto Lacayo, and Josh Gable. Jones kicked at Tulsa from 2015 to 2017, Lacayo was most recently with the Portland Steel of the AFL in 2016, and Gable is a former pro soccer player with no collegiate placekicking experience, but he did try out with the Colts and Patriots, and has most recently been kicking with the IFL’s Nebraska Danger.
The Bears said they’d have competition for incumbent Cody Parkey after his disastrous 2018 season, so we’ll likely get a parade of kickers in the coming months.