The Chicago Bears kicker competition entered its next phase. After having eight attendants at rookie minicamps at the start of May, six were dismissed. Only Elliot Fry and Chris Blewitt survived the cut. They will be joined by former Oakland Raiders undrafted free agent Eddy Pineiro. A young man coming off a groin injury whom the Bears traded for.
Now one must be fair. All three men have kicking talent. Fry had success both at South Carolina and in the AAF. Pineiro hasn’t missed a field goal since September of 2017 at Florida. Blewitt was somewhat inconsistent at Pitt but constantly delivered in the clutch. They’re all very young too. So there’s a chance the Bears could be set up for the long-term if one of them pans out.
However, one man doesn’t think it will. Tobias Moskowitz, a finance professor at Yale who authored a book called “Scorecasting” that heavily researched how games are won and lost in sports, spoke to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times about it. His theory goes in a different direction.
Chicago Bears kicker battle will ultimately go to a proven veteran
Moskowitz believes that the situation the Bears are in will ultimately determine their course at kicker. If they were a rebuilding team, they could afford to take a chance on a young, unproven kicker like one of those three. They are not a rebuilding team though. They are a contender, and that changes things.
“My guess is the other thing they’re trying to do is find a value bet, a diamond in the rough — ‘If they turn out to be fantastic, we look like heroes,’ ” said Moskowitz, who previously was a professor at the University of Chicago. “But if it were me, and you have a playoff contending team — and I think the Bears do — then my guess is they would try that strategy but at some point be in the market for a veteran at the beginning of the season.”
This is an interesting point. Not one that sounds crazy either. The fact that the Bears swiftly sent six kickers in their competition packing suggests they haven’t been totally satisfied with the results thus far. That could change as OTAs and training camp arrive over the next couple of months, but people know the pressure that is on this organization.
Bad kicking cost them three victories in 2018, including the one that mattered most in the playoffs. They have to get that position right. If they aren’t sold on Fry, Blewitt, or Pineiro? Going for a more seasoned veteran would be the safe route. There are still some interesting names available, including Matt Bryant and Kai Forbath.
Certainly something to keep in mind.