Two former Chiefs could be each other’s primary competition for the kicking job in Chicago as the Bears brought in Cairo Santos for a visit.
Cairo Santos was bound to be a popular name on the free agent market once word began to circulate that he was once again healthy and ready to kick in an NFL game. After weeks of dealing with a groin injury, the former Kansas City Chiefs kicker is very young and one of the more accurate kickers in the NFL. Given the kicking frustrations for several teams this year, it’s not hard to picture Santos having his choice of places to play.
The first visit on his list was apparently the Chicago Bears, who actually employ a former Chief at kicker already in Connor Barth. The Bears hosted Santos on Thursday, per NFL reporter Brad Biggs.
Barth began his career as a rookie in Kansas City with a 10-game stint that lasted a single year before he moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From there, the journeyman has carved out a nice nine-year career for himself, although he’s having a career-low this year in terms of field goal percentage for the Bears at 71%.
Santos was placed on injured reserve and ultimately released after the Chiefs secured the services of rookie kicker Harrison Butker, a former seventh round choice of the Carolina Panthers they claimed from the team’s practice squad. Butker has been automatic since taking over for Santos and even made him expendable with his incredible streak of 18 made field goals in a row.
Santos has converted 84.8 percent of all field goals in his career including 3 of 3 so far this season after a career-best 88.6 percent in 2016.