Cairo Santos

Bears Extend K Cairo Santos

Cairo Santos is sticking around Chicago for the foreseeable future. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears have signed their kicker to a four-year extension.

The four-year deal is worth $16.5MM, including $9.5MM in guaranteed money. The contract will keep Santos in Chicago through at least the 2027 season. The veteran was playing on the final year of a three-year, $9MM contract he signed with the organization back in 2021.

Santos has established himself as the most accurate kicker in franchise history thanks to his ongoing four-year stretch with the organization. Since re-joining the Bears in 2020 (Santos had a two-game stint with the organization in 2017), Santos has connected on 91.2 percent of his field goal attempts and 92.7 percent of his extra point tries.

The 32-year-old has continued to be reliable in 2023. In 14 games, Santos has connected on 27 of his 29 field goal tries (93.1 percent) and 24 of his 26 XP tries (92.3 percent). Per ESPN’s Field Yates, Santos has also converted 10-straight field goals from at least 50 yards, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Santos has revived his career in Chicago. After spending his first three-plus seasons as the Chiefs primary kicker, he bounced around the NFL for a few years. Between 2017 and 2019, Santos spent time with the Chiefs, Bears, Jets, Rams, and Buccaneers, with the kicker connecting on only 68.8 percent of his field goals over that span. As noted, he’s been significantly more dependable in Chicago, and the Bears are rewarding his consistency with a long-term deal.

Bears Sign K Michael Badgley

OCTOBER 2: Badgley will serve as the Bears’ kicker for Week 4. Santos has been ruled out (Twitter link via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune).

OCTOBER 1, 12:03pm: The Bears signed Badgley to their practice squad but bumped him to their active roster via a gameday elevation maneuver. Both Badgley and Santos are on Chicago’s Week 4 roster. Badgley would revert to the Bears’ P-squad following their Giants matchup. Santos is not flying with the Bears to New York, though a separate flight — as he remains questionable to play — could conceivably commence later.

OCTOBER 1, 10:53am: Michael Badgley‘s two-workout week will produce a gig. The Bears are adding the veteran kicker Saturday, according to his agent (on Twitter).

Joining Josh Lambo and Brian Johnson in working out for the Bears on Friday, Badgley may soon be in position to kick with his new team. Cairo Santos was away from the team Thursday and Friday for personal reasons. With the Bears not having a kicker on their practice squad, they needed to scan the market quickly. If this is a P-squad deal for Badgley, the Bears have until this afternoon to promote him to their active roster — if Santos is indeed out of the picture for Week 4.

This will be Badgley’s first gig since last season, when he kicked in 12 games for the Colts. The former Chargers primary option began his 2021 slate with the Titans, but they moved on after one game. Badgley still found his way to Indianapolis after Rodrigo Blankenship‘s injury. After missing a Week 1 field goal in Tennessee and misfiring on an extra point with Tennessee, Badgley was better as a Colt. He went 18-for-21 on field goals and 39-for-39 on PATs during his Indy stay.

Badgley, 27, began his career as a Colts UDFA in 2018 but ended up beginning his in-game career in Los Angeles. The ex-Miami Hurricane ended up replacing Caleb Sturgis with the Chargers later in 2018 and kicked with Los Angeles for three seasons. Injury issues plagued the Money Badger in 2019, when he missed eight games, and he missed nine field goals (24-for-33) in 2020. The Bolts moved on in 2021, waiving Badgley after training camp.

The Bears have Santos signed to a three-year, $9MM deal, one that runs through the 2024 season. Santos, 30, has been Chicago’s primary kicker since 2020. Badgley also worked out for the Chiefs this week, but Kansas City went with Matthew Wright as its latest Harrison Butker fill-in option.

Bears Audition Michael Badgley, Josh Lambo

The Bears may need a kicker for their Week 4 game, and they are turning to the workout circuit to find a fill-in option. The team excused Cairo Santos from practice Thursday for personal reasons, per the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs, and the veteran specialist was not there Friday.

With no kicker currently on the Bears’ 16-man practice squad, outside help appears necessary. Michael Badgley, Josh Lambo and Brian Johnson took part in a Friday workout, Biggs adds (via Twitter). Santos, 31, has been the Bears’ kicker since 2020. Via the three-year extension he signed in 2021, Santos is signed through the 2024 season.

Badgley, Lambo and Johnson kicked in the NFL last season. None entered this season with a gig. Both Lambo and Badgley began their careers with the Chargers; Badgley played as a Colts replacement option last season, while Lambo was with the Jaguars from 2017-21. The team moved in a different direction this year, ditching both Lambo and top 2021 option Matthew Wright.

Lambo, 31, only kicked in seven Jaguars games from 2020-21 but was the team’s full-timer for most of Doug Marrone‘s HC tenure. He led the NFL with a 97% make rate during his most recent full season (2019), going 33-for-34, but missed each of his three field goal tries last season. Lambo’s Jacksonville stay represents his longest as a pro; it will likely be most remembered for his Urban Meyer conflict. Lambo has sued the Jags, alleging Meyer kicked him while he was warming up for a preseason game. Jacksonville released Lambo in October 2021.

Signed to replace an injured Rodrigo Blankenship midway through last season, Badgley made 86% of his tries (18 of 21) in Indianapolis. One of the Saints’ four options in their Wil Lutz-less season, Johnson also kicked for Washington in 2021. Johnson has yet to miss a field goal as a pro, going 10-for-10 as a rookie. This has been a two-workout week for Badgley, who auditioned for the Chiefs with ex-Jags teammate Wright. The latter landed the job — a spot on Kansas City’s P-squad.

Bears Re-Sign K Cairo Santos

Cairo Santos is sticking around Chicago. The Bears have signed the impending free agent kicker to a new five-year deal, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).

The deal is worth $16MM and has a maximum value of $17.5MM, according to Biggs. However, the final two years of the deal are voidable, effectively making it a three-year, $9MM deal (with a max value of $11MM). The entire deal includes $4.575MM in guaranteed money, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter).

Santos initially joined the Bears last offseason, but he was cut at the end of preseason. He quickly rejoined the team when kicker Eddy Pineiro landed on IR, and Santos proceeded to put forth one of the best kicking seasons in franchise history. The 29-year-old connected on 3o of his 32 field goal attempts, leading to a franchise-best field goal percentage (93.8). He also set the franchise mark in consecutive field goals made, connecting on 27-straight during the 2020 campaign.

Santos spent the first three-plus seasons of his career with the Chiefs, but he’s bounced around the NFL since getting dumped during the 2017 season. He had a previous stint with the Bears to finish his 2017 campaign, and he’s since spent time with the Jets, Rams, Buccaneers, and Titans. The kicker’s recent inconsistency (he made only 68.8% of his kicks between the 2017 and 2019 seasons) explains why he hasn’t been able to find a steady gig, but it sounds like he’s found a home in Chicago. Similarly, the Bears have finally found an answer at kicker, at least for the next few seasons. As Biggs writes, the Bears have had a carousel at the position since letting go of Robbie Gould in 2016.

Bears Notes: Desai, Robinson, Massie, Skrine

Earlier this week, Sean Desai met with the media for the first time since being promoted to the role of defensive coordinator. While the 37-year-old will take over a defense that has ranked as a top-10 DVOA unit in each of the past three seasons, they’ve also seen some regression since peaking in 2018. However, Desai doesn’t believe the defensive needs a significant overhaul.

“I’m not a big car guy, so my analogies may not be great, but this is like a tune up,” Desai said (via the team’s website). “We’re going to refine some things and we’re going to make sure our players are playing to their strengths on a consistent basis and they’re going to buy into the system and the whys and the hows of why we’re doing certain things. But we’ve got a good defense. We’ve got really good players here.”

“There was some regression, and we’re going to overcome that,” Desai added. “But we’re going to do it in a positive way and we’re going to do it where the players are going to be able to shine through that defense. So I think we’ll build some depth and we’ll continue with our tough, physical mindset of play and do that over a 16- to 20-week season.”

Some more notes out of Chicago…

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that the Bears are “prepared” to tag wideout Allen Robinson with the hope of eventually signing him to a long-term deal. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that it will be difficult to fit a franchised Robinson into a reduced 2021 cap, but the writer also admits that replacing Robinson would be a more daunting task.
  • Speaking of the cap, Biggs provided some cost-cutting options for the Bears. The team could move on from right tackle Bobby Massie, although that would open a spot on the offensive line. Cornerback Buster Skrine could also lose his roster spot, especially since he has a $500K roster bonus due in March. Finally, Biggs also whether the front office will be receptive to paying tight end Jimmy Graham $7MM this season.
  • As for restructured contracts, Biggs points to pass rusher Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson, and he notes that the team could also extend cornerback Kyle Fuller. Alternatively, the team could look to retain free agents like Cairo Santos and Cordarrelle Patterson on low-money pacts.
  • Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic passed along a few Bears players who have increased their 2021 salaries via proven performance escalators (Twitter links): defensive end Bilal Nichols (from $920K to $2.183MM) and guard James Daniels ($1.437MM to $2.183MM),. Their new salaries are contingent on the final 2021 cap number.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. Many of these roster decisions involve practice squad promotions. Under the new CBA, teams are permitted to promote two P-squad players without corresponding roster moves per week. Teams can carry 55 players on their rosters for game days and can have up to 48 active.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Promoted: RB Nathan Cottrell, TE Ben Ellefson

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: DB Nate Brooks

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Bears Announce 16-Man Practice Squad

Teams are starting to announce their full expanded practice squads, and we’ll be bringing you recaps all day. Just in is the Chicago Bears, who announced a full slate of 16 players:

  • QB Tyler Bray
  • RB Artavis Pierce
  • WR Reggie Davis
  • S Stephen Denmark
  • WR Thomas Ives
  • WR Rodney Adams
  • TE Jesper Horsted
  • OL Sam Mustipher
  • OL Jamon Brown
  • OL Lachavious Simmons
  • OL Badara Traore
  • DT Abdullah Anderson
  • DE LaCale London
  • LB Rashad Smith
  • S Xavier Crawford
  • K Cairo Santos

Bray has bounced between the practice squad and active roster the past couple of years now, and will serve as the third quarterback behind Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles. Santos is a veteran kicker with a good amount of experience. Right after he was cut we heard the Bears might be planning on him kicking Week 1 against the Lions if Eddy Pineiro still isn’t ready to come back from his groin injury.

Everybody on this list was with the Bears for camp except Brown, who was cut by the Falcons last month. He signed a three-year $18.75MM deal last March, and started nine games for Atlanta last season.

Bears Release K Cairo Santos

Cairo Santos‘ time in Chicago didn’t last long. Just a couple weeks after signing with the Bears, the veteran kicker has been informed of his release, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

That being said, that doesn’t mean Santos won’t end up kicking for the team. Kicker Eddy Pineiro has been sidelined by a groin injury, and Biggs writes the team just wanted to have him make the initial 53 so he wouldn’t have to be lost for the season by going on injured reserve. Biggs doesn’t think Pineiro will be ready to kick Week 1, and he thinks the plan may be to re-sign Santos after the weekend and have him kick against Detroit.

Kicking has been a sore spot for the Bears the last few years, and it looks like things are up in the air yet again. Santos was the Chiefs’ kicker from 2014-17, but was replaced following an injury and has bounced around the league since. He spent a couple weeks with Chicago toward the end of the 2017 season, so there’s plenty of familiarity here.

Bears To Sign K Cairo Santos

The Bears are expected to sign kicker Cairo Santos, as Adam Schefter of reports (via Twitter). Schefter’s ESPN colleague, Field Yates, had reported shortly beforehand that Chicago was bringing Santos in for a workout (Twitter link).

Santos signed with the Chiefs as a UDFA in 2014 and served as Kansas City’s kicker from 2014-16. He was largely successful during that time, never hitting less than 81.1% of his kicks and nailing a very strong 88.6% in 2016. But a groin injury derailed his career a bit, and KC waived him partway through the 2017 season. The Bears picked him up a few weeks later, but he appeared in just two games for Chicago before landing on IR.

Over the past two seasons, Santos has suited up for the Rams, Bucs, and Titans. He hooked on with Tennessee just before the start of the 2019 season to replace the injured Ryan Succop, but his stint in the Music City was disastrous. In his fifth game with the Titans, Santos missed four field goals in a 14-7 loss, and he was cut shortly thereafter.

The Bears appeared to stabilize their kicking situation with Eddy Pineiro in 2019. Pineiro won the job after an open casting call last offseason, and he ultimately connected on 23 of 28 field goal tries and 27 of 29 PATs. But as Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets, head coach Matt Nagy gave a non-answer yesterday when asked how Pineiro was doing in camp thus far. Apparently, Pineiro did not attempt a single field goal during the portions of practice that were open to the media this past week, so there is plenty of speculation that Santos may be more than just veteran competition.

Titans Drop Cairo Santos

The Titans have released kicker Cairo Santos, as Field Yates of tweets. This doesn’t come as a big surprise after Santos missed four field goals in Sunday’s 14-7 loss to the Bills. 

Santos joined the Titans in early September, replacing the injured Ryan Succop. Since then, he’s missed five of nine field goal tries, with most of those misses coming on Sunday.

In seven games for the Bucs in 2018, Santos made 9-of-12 field goals and nailed all 17 of his extra points. Santos also saw time in a pair of games for the Rams last year.

Santos will now look to peddle his feet someplace else as the Titans move on to a new place kicker.