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Chicago Bears 2022 Position Battles: Kicker, punter, and long snapper

Next up in our 11-part series looking at the training camp position battles on the Chicago Bears is the specialists, but if there’s no competition can there be a battle?

NFL: MAY 08 Chicago Bears Rookie Minicamp Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chicago Bears head into training camp next week with just one player each at kicker, long snapper, and punter, so whatever battle these players may have been getting ready for has ended before it really started. There was always going to be no comp at kicker, but the Bears released a long snapper and punter earlier this offseason.

So let’s dive into the easiest article of this training camp preview series.

Roster Locks

Cairo Santos inked a three-year, $9 million contract extension last year, through the 2023 season, but former general manager Ryan Pace gave him two void years taking it through 2025. The 30-year old Santos has solidified Chicago’s kicking game the last two years, and barring an injury he’ll be around to continue to build on his franchise best 89.1 field goal percentage.

His holder this year is rookie punter Trenton Gill, who was the team’s seventh round pick, and if he punts a ball this season he’ll be just the third man to do so since 2013. Adam Podlesh was the punter that year and then from 2014 through 2021 it was Patrick O’Donnell. Gill is currently without competition, but if he struggles at all I’m sure GM Ryan Poles would be quick to get a veteran in the mix.

Patrick Scales has been a consistent long snapper since being signed by the Bears in 2015 (minus his IR stint in 2017), so as long as his health holds up he’ll keep adding to his 86 career games in Chicago.

A good bet to make it

Move along, nothing to see here...

On the bubble