After Cody Parkey’s infamous “double doink" to end the wildcard round loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, it was clear that his time in Chicago had run out.
On March 13th the Bears officially cut Parkey after one year with the team. Parkey apparently lost any chance of sticking with the team by going on the Today show a few days after his playoff miss. Bears coach Matt Nagy definitely wasn’t thrilled with Parkey’s decision to go on national television.
“We always talk about a ‘we’ and not a ‘me’ thing,” Nagy said in January. “We always talk as a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team. You know, I just, I didn’t necessarily think that that was too much of a ‘we’ thing. Again, I didn’t think it was a ‘we’ thing.”
Due to the guarantees in Parkey’s contract, the Bears will be taking a salary cap hit of $5.2 million in 2019, even though Parkey won’t be on the team.
The team has been busy looking for the Parkey replacement since season’s end. The Bears have since added Chris Blewitt, Redford Jones, and Elliott Fry via free agency. They also made a trade with the Oakland Raiders to acquire kicker Eddy Pineiro for a conditional seventh-round pick. (Editor's update: this week the team cut Chris Blewitt, leaving the current competition down to Pineiro and Fry)
Chicago Bears legend and current San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould has recently requested a trade to be closer to his family who still lives in Chicago. So far, there hasn’t been any trade talks involvement on the Bears front regarding Gould.
Nagy promised to put the kickers competing for a job with the Bears in pressure situations in practice, and he delivered on that promise. The coach had his kickers replicate Parkey's 43-yard field goal at the end of the first practice. Held outdoors in windy conditions, the results have yielded mixed results, not exactly comforting for a Super Bowl contending team.
It looks like it’s going to be a three-man competition, with Jones already having been dismissed, going into training camp.
“We’re trying to let this thing play out,” Nagy told reporters after Wednesday’s OTA practice. “That’s a very important position for us right now, so we’re going to be delicate with it and make sure that whatever we do, we talk about it and we decide, ‘Okay, is this the right thing to do?” “If we need to bring three to camp, we’ll bring three to camp.”
Nagy doesn't appear to be too concerned about the kicker situation right now since there's a lot of time before training camp. The Bears remain dedicated to doing everything they can to fix their kicker woes. If there’s no definite clear-cut winner in this kicking competition, general manager Ryan Pace may want to think again about bringing home Gould.