Still dissatisfied with their kicker situation at the end of their eight-man derby, the Bears traded for a Bay Area kicker on Monday.
And no, it wasn’t Robbie Gould — though the 49ers kicker is still kicking in Chicago and hoping for a trade closer to home.
Rather, the Bears traded for Raiders kicker Eddy Piñeiro, sources confirmed. They parted with very little — a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2021. The Bears would only have to turn over the pick if he spends five games on their roster. The deal became official Tuesday afternoon, after he passed a physical.
During organized team activities, he’ll face off against the Bears’ other kickers — a list that, for at least now, features Chris Blewitt and Elliott Fry — for Cody Parkey’s old job.
At the end of their derby Sunday, the Bears cut two of the four kickers on their active roster: Redford Jones and John Baron.
Brandon Kornblue, the former Michigan kicker who served as Piñeiro’s private kicking coach, said he’s ready for the competition.
“He’s probably the most mentally tough kicker I’ve ever been around,” Kornblue said. “He’s not afraid of anything.
“That’s where this situation with the Bears, with all the pressure — the fans were unforgiving to Parkey — I think he’s the perfect guy for that. He’s not going to feel any pressure. He just wants to compete against anybody anytime anywhere. He’s got that confidence.”
The Miami native dreamt of playing soccer in college, earning a scholarship to FAU before academic issues forced him to join ASA College, a junior college in his hometown.
His father encouraged him to consider placekicking in junior college. His high school football career was limited to seven games, where he was responsible mostly for kickoffs.
In April 2015, he set a Kornblue Kicking and Snapping Challenge record with an 86-yard kickoff and 71-yard field goal. That eventually earned him a scholarship offer from Alabama, where he committed before deciding to play closer to home at Florida.
From 2016-17, he made all but two of his 58 extra points and 38-of-43 field goal attempts. His 88.4 field goal percentage was the highest in Gators history.
He left school a year early but went undrafted. The Raiders signed him after last year’s draft.
He went 3-for-3 last preseason and seemed headed for the starting job before being placed on Injured Reserve with a groin injury. In October, the Raiders signed Daniel Carlson, whom the Vikings drafted in Round 5 months earlier.