Brad Maynard believes he can punt until he's 44
Brad Maynard looks like he is headed to free agency and the 37-year-old punter doesn’t have a problem with that.
In fact, he believes he’s got seven strong years left in his right leg.
Maynard has punted for the Chicago Bears for the past 10 seasons, but he’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and he’s had no contact with the club to this point. The Bears signed Richmond McGee, their camp leg the past two summers, to a two-year contract two weeks ago.
“I'm not too concerned about it,” Maynard told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “I know things will take care of themselves in the end."
The Bears haven’t announced their intentions, but at this point it may be that they want McGee and another young player to compete for the job. Maynard, who is third in NFL history in career punts, was last in the league with a net average of 40.1 yards in 2010. He had arthroscopic hip surgery last offseason, and the Bears played some games in rough weather.
“I know that I'm better than the year I just had," Maynard said. "If I'm not good enough to play here, I feel like I just need one team to say, 'Yeah, we'll take you.' And then I can prove everybody wrong.
"I know when I'm standing side-by-side with a 27-year-old punter that I'm kicking just as good as he is," Maynard said. "Jeff Feagles went to the Giants at 37 years old. He played seven years there and went to the Pro Bowl in his fifth year there. I've been compared to Jeff Feagles my entire career and, yes, I do feel like I have seven years left in me.”
If the Bears do choose to move on from Maynard, he might be best suited hooking up with a team that plays its home games indoors. Maynard is considered an excellent directional punter.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune