Nov 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears punter Adam Podlesh (8) runs for a two point conversion during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears have terminated the contract for punter Adam Podlesh, giving the veteran kicker the boot. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Podlesh and the Bears punting unit struggled mightily last season, so this comes as no surprise, especially for a punter who was set to earn $2 million in 2014. This from the Bears’ press release:
"The Chicago Bears terminated the contract of vested veteran P Adam Podlesh.In three seasons with the Bears (2011-13), Podlesh had 238 punts for 10,065 yards (42.3 gross average). He landed 82 punts inside-the-20 with just 12 touchbacks, one blocked punt and a net average of 39.4.In seven NFL seasons with Jacksonville (2007-10) and Chicago, Podlesh had 467 punts for 19,816 yards (42.4 average), landing 157 punts inside-the-20 with 31 touchbacks."
Podlesh was one of the first free agents signed by the Bears to open the lockout-shortened offseason in 2011 after the Bears pushed incumbent Brad Maynard aside, for what were believed to be philosophical differences with then special teams coordinator Dave Toub. Podlesh came from the Jacksonville Jaguars with a good reputation as a directional punter, but never lived up to the 5 year/$10 million contract he signed back in July of 2011.
Perhaps the highlight of Podlesh’s career was a random and unneeded 2-point conversion when the Bears caught the Vikings napping on an extra point attempt.
Podlesh ranked 33rd in the NFL in gross punting yardage and the Bears ranked dead last in the league in that category. The move saves the Bears about $1.4 million in cap space. Based on Podlesh’s Twitter timeline, it doesn’t seem like there are any hard feelings:
Tress Way and Kevin Butler’s son Drew Butler are currently on the roster and will vie for the Bears’ punting job and the coveted spot on the golf course with kicker Robbie Gould and long snapper Patrick Mannelly.