Bears Give Cairo Santos Four-Year Extension

The Bears still have three games left, but Ryan Poles is getting an early start on next season. The second-year GM gave placekicker Cairo Santos a four-year extension worth $16 million, including $9.5 million guaranteed. The nine-year veteran has been with the Bears since 2020. That’s one heck of an early Christmas present.

Santos, 32, was named the NFC special teams player of the month in November and has been more effective on kickoffs this season with deeper kicks and more touchbacks. As challenging as Soldier Field can be for specialists with the wind, Santos gives the Bears an edge. In home games since 2020, he’s 44 of 48 on field-goal attempts while the opposition is 49 of 59.

Entering Sunday’s game against the Cardinals at Soldier Field, Santos has made 27 of 29 field-goal attempts this season, including 6-for-6 from 50 yards or more. He’s at 91.2% since rejoining the team in 2020 after Eddy Piñeiro was injured during training camp. Santos, who has also played for the Chiefs, Rams, and Buccaneers, is the most accurate kicker in team history, just ahead of Robbie Gould. The Bears were never going to use the franchise tag on Santos but needed to get something done to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. His current three-year, $9 million contract would have expired after this season.


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