Perhaps the hardest thing to do in football is converting an onside kick when everyone in the stadium knows you’re trying one.
Dolphins corner Cody Parkey has made it look easy.
His final kickoff of the season was such a play, with teammate Bobby McCain recovering to give the Dolphins one last chance against the Bills.
It was the second time in as many games against the Bills that Parkey earned his team a must-have possession. (The Dolphins squandered both chances, however, throwing an interception on both of their final drives against Buffalo.)
“Cody, he’s a really good kicker,” McCain said. “He’s really — I think he went to the Pro Bowl his rookie year. You go for a reason. He’s a really good kicker.”
Better than good. He was as accurate in 2017 as any kicker in team history.
Parkey tied the Dolphins record (set by Jay Feely in 2007) for highest single-season field goal percentage, converting 91.3 of his tries this year. He also kicked two game-winning field goals, including one in his first game as a Dolphin.
Not bad for a waiver-wire pickup claimed by the Dolphins just days before the beginning of the season. Special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi gambled, believing Parkey was better than Andrew Franks.
The gamble paid off. Parkey has been a stud. Franks has been out of the league since Miami cut him in September.
Parkey was one of few feel-good stories of the year for the Dolphins. He’s from Jupiter, just an hour away, but lived in an extended stay during the season because he didn’t want to commute two hours round-trip every day.
Such a transient existence was OK for a few months. But he wants to put down roots. And he wants to do so here.
Parkey is one of more than a dozen unrestricted Dolphins free agents, and there’s no reason to believe one of their top priorities to re-sign.
He wants that.
“I’d love to stay here and play here for a long time,” Parkey said. “Statistically, I think that I’m one of the better kickers in the league over the four years. So yeah, I’d love to stick around on one team and just make this my home and be able to bring a Super Bowl here. That’s the ultimate goal. Whatever the plan is for me, I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason. Just kind of take it easy and let things work itself out.”