While this certainly won’t take the sting away after seeing the Chicago Bears narrowly lose a playoff game to the Philadelphia Eagles, knowing that Cody Parkey’s game winning 42-yard attempt was blocked could help the psyche of Chicago’s 26-year old kicker.
Parkey lined up with a chance to win the game with ten seconds left and the Bears down by one with the score 16 to 15. Just moments earlier, Parkey drilled one through the uprights while being iced by Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. The icing appeared to work when Parkey’s next kick bounced off the upright then again off the crossbar giving the Eagles the win.
But after the game it was discovered that Philadelphia’s Treyvon Hester, a 6’3”, second year defensive tackle, got a fingertip on the ball.
Here’s the slow mo, frame by frame replay.
Yes, Hester did confirm he tipped the kick.
And here’s a side shot from the All-22 film.
All-22 footage clearly shows Treyvon Hester got a piece of Cody Parkey’s final FG attempt vs. Eagles. pic.twitter.com/kAZdjdXug4— Nick Shook (@TheNickShook) January 7, 2019
Cody Parkey had a rough first year with the Bears by missing seven field goals and three extra points in the regular season. And now with this critical playoff miss, even though it was blocked, it has to make general manager Ryan Pace wonder if he needs to bring in some competition or sign a new kicker for 2019.
Cutting Parkey would mean a $5,187,500 dead cap hit if done before June 1, but if the Bears cut him after June 1, the dead cap would be $4,062,500.
In my opinion the Bears have two real options for 2019.
1) Keep Parkey and add a couple undrafted free agents, or street free agents to compete in training camp, and may the best man win.
2) Sign another top free agent kicker — some kickers that could be available are Sebastian Janikowski, Robbie Gould, and Adam Vinatieri — cut Parkey, and deal with a huge cap number at placekicker for the 2019 season.
I don’t see them drafting a kicker, because using a draft pick on a kicker usually means he’s guaranteed to be your guy, and trusting a rookie could land them in the same kicker-purgatory they’ve been in during the last four years.
If your wondering why Parkey’s cap hit is so high, consider where his salary slotted him this year. In 2017 with the Dolphins, Parkey made 91.3% of his field goals, which was 8th highest in the NFL. Pace’s contract made him the 9th highest paid kicker by average dollars in 2018. So if you were to follow the money, he was getting paid about where he should have been.
What do you think the Bears do at kicker in 2019?
And here’s his immediate post game reaction that he gave without knowing the kick was tipped.