Football

Bears now have a trio of kickers on their roster after signing Elliott Fry to a 3-year contract

The Bears added a third kicker to their collection Friday, signing Elliott Fry to a three-year contract.

Fry, 24, recently kicked for the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football before the league suspended operations April 2. He made all 14 of his field-goal attempts with a long of 47 yards while playing for Steve Spurrier, his former coach at South Carolina.

That included field goals of 42 and 43 yards in the snow against the Salt Lake Stallions.

A Texas native, Fry does not have NFL game experience. He tried out for the Buccaneers in 2017 and spent that fall as a special teams coach at a Columbia, S.C., high school.

Fry made 66 of 88 field-goal attempts and 161 of 162 extra-point attempts from 2013-2016 at South Carolina, where he started as a walk-on. He was 13 for 17 on field goals in his senior season, making a 55-yarder with 35 seconds remaining to lift the Gamecocks over Vanderbilt in their opener. He became South Carolina's all-time leading scorer with 359 points.

The Bears held a tryout Wednesday at Halas Hall that included two other AAF kickers – Younghoe Koo and Nick Rose – and NFL veteran Caleb Sturgis.

They already had two kickers without NFL experience on their roster – they signed rookies Chris Blewitt and Redford Jones earlier this offseason to bolster the competition to replace Cody Parkey, whom the team released in March after one season.

Coach Matt Nagy said last month at the NFL owners meetings that trying out kickers without NFL experience is a "huge question mark." But he noted he and the Bears staff would do their best to apply the right amount of pressure to the competition so they can find the right player.

"Everybody else says, 'Oh, no one knows who these guys are and they never kicked in a game,' " Nagy said. "But hell, I never coached in a game (before) last year. Last year was my first time ever being a head coach. Somebody needs an opportunity. ... So we've got to give them an opportunity.

"Now that's the fun part. And it is, for sure, a touchy situation because of what happened in the playoffs (when Parkey missed the potential game-winner against the Eagles) and because of the history of our team."

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