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Michael Badgley enjoys whirlwind weekend

Bears kicker Michael Badgley
Bears kicker Michael Badgley

The phone call that drastically changed Michael Badgley's weekend plans came from a Chicagoland area code last Thursday.

The Bears contacted the 27-year-old kicker, offering him an opportunity to potentially sign with the club because incumbent Cairo Santos was away from the team dealing with an undisclosed personal issue.

Badgley flew to Chicago Thursday, signed a contract Friday after winning a kicking derby with two other participants and then proceeded to make all four of his field-goal attempts in blustery conditions Sunday in the Bears' 20-12 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

"These are the situations you kind of want to happen," Badgley said after the game. "It's one of those things where you show up and you want to win the job and you want to go kick on Sundays."

Badgley entered the NFL in 2018 as an undrafted free agent free agent with the Colts, whose defensive coordinator at the time was Bears coach Matt Eberflus. Badgley made all five of his field-goal attempts in the preseason, but Adam Vinatieri was still playing for Indianapolis, so Badgley was waived as part of final cuts. 

Badgley signed with the Chargers in October 2018 and remained with them through 2020, converting 80 percent of his field-goal attempts (52 of 65) with a long of 59 yards over three seasons. 

In 2021, Badgley spent one game with the Titans and 12 contests in a second stint with the Colts, making 18-of-21 field-goal attempts (85.7 percent) and 39-of-39 extra-point tries for Indianapolis. 

Without a team this year, he continued to kick and work out at home in California, waiting for a phone call like the one he received from the Bears.

"As a competitor, I'm expecting a call every week to go get a workout and play on Sundays," Badgley said. "But it was just one of those situations where they had something come up and needed a kicker. [I] came in and won the job and here we are."

Watch the Bears' Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants unfold through the lenses of our sideline photographers at MetLife Stadium.

Badgley provided all of the Bears' points against the Giants with field goals of 29, 22, 40 and 35 yards. As an added bonus, the New Jersey native was able to play against his hometown team in front of family—including his parents—and friends. 

"They were ready to go as soon as I told them," Badgley said. "Everybody was fired up to go out there. It stinks we couldn't get the win with them being here. Parents were out there, bunch of coaches from high school, friends, all my buddies showed up." 

Familiar with the stadium, Badgley wasn't surprised by the windy conditions. 

"Growing up coming to Giants games, you know how it swirls in the Meadowlands," he said. "So you kind of come into a game like this expecting that. I just figured, 'aim through the middle and let it go.'"