The Bears intend to bring in competition for much-maligned kicker Cody Parkey, according to general manager Ryan Pace (Twitter link via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune). “We need more production out of that position,” said Pace. “It will be an emphasis of focus for us.” Parkey, of course, had a game-winning kick blocked in the final seconds of Chicago’s Wild Card round loss to the Eagles, but his results during the regular season were also unspectacular. Signed to a four-year, $15MM contract last March, Parkey proceeded to finish third-to-last in the NFL with a 76.7% field goal conversion rate. Football Outsiders‘ special teams metrics, meanwhile, ranked the Bears 29th in field goals and extra points. Chicago, which handed Parkey $9MM in full guarantees, would incur more than $5MM in dead money by cutting the 26-year-old.
Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:
- Bengals head coach-to-be Zac Taylor is “very interested” in having Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan join his new staff in Cincinnati, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). The only problem? Callahan is still under contract in Washington, so the Redskins would need to permit the move. The Bengals parted ways with OL coach Frank Pollack earlier this week, so they’re looking for a new coach to lead their front five. Taylor played quarterback under Callahan at Nebraska, so the two certainly have a familiarity.
- The Steelers have hired North Carolina State tight ends/fullbacks/special teams coach Eddie Faulkner as their new running backs coach, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Faulkner coached current Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels as recently as 2017, and he’ll now have the opportunity to lead both Samuels and James Conner next season. He’ll replace James Saxon, who left to take the same position with the Cardinals.
- After losing former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the Broncos, the Bears are overhauling their defensive staff under new play-caller Chuck Pagano. Safeties coach Roy Anderson and linebackers coach Glenn Pires will not be retained, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune and Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter links). Pagano surely wants to formulate his own staff, but Anderson had worked with Pagano in both Baltimore and Indianapolis, so his departure is relatively surprising.
- Broncos’ offensive tackles coach Chris Strausser is generating interest from the Browns, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. Strausser, who handled Denver’s tackles while Sean Kugler (who recently left for the Cardinals) managed the club’s interior offensive line, is likely being allowed to pursue other opportunities now that Fangio is in place. Cleveland recently hired ex-Packers offensive line coach James Campen for the same role.