The Chicago Bears made another roster move today as Ryan Poles signed another Ryan Pace find to a long-term contract. The first big contract that Poles handed out to a player brought in by Pace was Cole Kmet. Earlier this year, Kmet signed a four-year deal worth 50 million dollars. The contract included a little less than $33 million in guaranteed money. Now, Poles signed Cairo Santos to a four-year extension. The extension is worth $16 million with $9.5 million guaranteed.
Santos has spent most of his career with Kansas City (the team Poles used to call home) and now Chicago. In his 10-year career, Santos has spent nine (some partial) seasons with these two teams. In fact, this is Santos' second stint with the Bears as he spent part of the 2017 season with the team before returning full time in 2020. Technically, we can't call this one only a Ryan Pace find when Ryan Poles was in Kansas City when the kicker joined the Chiefs in 2014, but Pace did bring Santos into Chicago in 2017 and again in 2020.
As someone who wanted to see Santos gone a couple of seasons ago, I have to applaud him for building up his leg strength enough to no longer be a liability when it comes to kicking 50-yard+ field goals. Over the last two years, he's made 10 of 11 attempts beyond 49 yards. Prior to 2022, Santos had only made two of five attempts from that distance.
He still doesn't have the biggest leg in the league, but he has been extremely accurate while here in Chicago. Santos is now 32 years old and has a career field goal percentage of 85.5%. Over his last four years in Chicago (a difficult place to kick at times), Santos has a 91.2% field goal percentage. When including his short stint in 2017, Santos' field goal percentage for the Chicago Bears is 90.5% — making him the most accurate kicker in Bears' franchise history. Robbie Gould is second with an 85.4% field goal percentage.
It looks like Christmas came early for the Brazilian native. This is also a great move by Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears. Maybe now, Matt Eberflus will use him correctly too. Also, is Jaylon Johnson next on Poles' list? I sure hope so!