Bears, punter O’Donnell agree to 1-year extension for 2021


CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears and punter Pat O’Donnell agreed Friday to a one-year contract extension for next season.

A sixth-round draft pick by Chicago in 2014, O’Donnell holds franchise records for punting average (45 yards) and net average (39.4). His 181 punts inside the 20 rank second in team history to Brad Maynard’s 284 and 12th among active NFL punters.

O’Donnell had 64 for 2,924 yards — 45.7 per attempt — last season. He tied for third in the league with 28 punts inside the 20.

The move comes a day after the Bears rewarded kicker Cairo Santos for a club-record season with a contract extension. Long snapper Patrick Scales has an expiring deal and could become a free agent once the new league year starts on Wednesday.

The Bears made the playoffs despite going 8-8 in the regular season for the second year in a row, then got knocked out in a convincing wild-card loss at New Orleans.


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