Elliott Fry most recently played for the Atlanta Falcons during the 2020 NFL Season and signed a future’s contract with the NFC South club in 2020.
He kicked at the University of South Carolina where he is the all-time leader in points scored. His dream is to be one of the 32 starting kickers in the NFL, a dream he has tasted, but not yet fulfilled. Here’s why.
Fry’s story manifests the words of NFL Super Agent Leigh Steinberg, who joined the Simple Kicking Show in 2020. Steinberg, who represents Patrick Mahomes (Quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs), said that kickers face difficulties because they are no backups, in his words there is a void of the experience of a “tutelage like a back-up quarterback experiences”. This means NFL free agent kickers lack a kind of mentorship to learn the ropes while still being employed.
Fry’s entry into the NFL world of starting specialists has been rocky. He has made stops with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, and Baltimore Ravens.
He even made a spot with the Alliance of American Football with the Orlando Apollos, playing for his college head coach, Steve Spurrier.
His tenure with the Chicago Bears presented the best timing of his career. The Bears were the hottest name in the NFL for kicking mainly because of one season ending kick. The Bears cut Cody Parkey (who is the current kicker for the Cleveland Browns) for missing a 43 yard field goal attempt from the right hash vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be known in perpetuity as the “double doink.” Fry finished in the top two after competing with nearly a dozen Free Agents. Coming down to a few kicks at Bears training camp in Bourbannais, Illinois the Bears decided to waive Fry and select Eddy Piñiero.
His pursuit of the NFL did not slow down. The Carolina Panthers brought him in for offseason workouts, then was subsequently cut. He then made a second stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during 2020 NFL training camp.
After 4 or 5 weeks off, a 2020 NFL roster spot for the Atlanta Falcons opened up. Fry was called in and competed to fill in for Younghoe Koo, who suffered a groin injury. Less than 4 days later Fry split the yellow pipes on Monday Night Football vs. the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
After, Koo was reactivated and Fry was designated to the practice squad, finishing the season earning a future’s contract.
Despite the unpaved road, Fry continues to work on his craft, aiming to be a starting kicker in the NFL.
This episode of the Simple Kicking show expands Fry’s drive, and how he continues to take small incremental steps to achieve his goal. He talks about lessons learned from Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, and Morgan Cox. The trio is known as the Wolfpack on the Baltimore Ravens coached by Mayor Randy Brown. He shares the journey of working with Chicago Bears Special Teams Pat O’Donnell, Pat Scales, and Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor. As he continues trudging the road, it is clear that his knowledge, wisdom and experience has helped him earn the belonging in the NFL that is required to convert kicks, not just talk about it.
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