Bears

Tryout kicker reveals more details of Bears rookie minicamp kicking competition

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USA TODAY

Tryout kicker reveals more details of Bears rookie minicamp kicking competition

The Bears didn’t reveal too much information about the kicking competition they held at rookie minicamp. The media could only report limited details, while Matt Nagy added just a little color at his press conferences.

It turns out, the eight-kicker competition actually grew to nine during that weekend.

After only two of the kickers hit the 43-yard field goal at the end of practice on the first day, punter Alex Kjellsten from McNeese State switched to attempting field goals.

“They brought in something like 14 specialists, and the organization did a great job of constructing pressure situations for us, and it was very competitive,” Kjellsten told The Advocate. “Every kick was charted, and they had all this technology on the goalpost.”

Kjellsten is now trying out with his hometown New Orleans Saints, a team with veterans locked in place at both kicker and punter.

Rookie minicamp in the Big Easy has a much different feel than the one at Halas Hall.

“Every kick held a lot of weight,” Kjellsten said. “Even if you made the kick, if the ball wasn’t rotating the right way or if it knocked off the upright and then went in, it was no good to them.”

The Bears kicking competition sent six players home and left the team without a clear answer at the position, to the extent of trading for Eddy Pineiro from the Oakland Raiders.

The kicking battle will continue at organized team activities, where the spotlight remains on the goalposts.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.