Eddy Pineiro survived cut day and, perhaps, the Bears’ kicker derby.
Pineiro was on the 53-man roster the Bears submitted to the NFL on Saturday afternoon. He has two more hurdles to clear before kicking in the season opener against the Packers on Thursday: the waiver wire that runs Sunday morning and the chance the Bears pursue a recently released veteran.
The Bears wouldn’t cut Pineiro without having first secured his replacement, so him making the roster wasn’t a surprise. Judging from coach Matt Nagy’s postgame comments Thursday, the Bears might prefer the continuity of keeping him, anyway.
“There is something that would be a major concern, I think, if you’re going to get somebody to come in here that’s never kicked in here or doesn’t have that experience,” Nagy said.
Pineiro, who never has kicked in a regular-season game, has a plan to gain some insider knowledge. He wants to kick at Soldier Field this week to prepare for the game against the Packers.
“That’s a big thing,” he said Thursday after missing one extra point and making three field goals in the preseason finale. “If I’m here Week 1, I would love to come down to the stadium and get some kicks and just start getting used to it. It’s different from every other stadium I’ve played in.”
If Pineiro kicks in five games this year, the Bears will owe the Raiders a 2021 seventh-round pick. The team could keep the conditional pick if they cut him in the next month.
The waiver wire will be intriguing. Kaare -Vedvik, whom the Bears pursued before the -Ravens traded him to the Vikings for a fifth-round pick earlier this preseason, was waived Saturday.
If the Bears prefer Vedvik to Pineiro, their waiver priority would make a claim difficult. They have the 24th choice.
The Bears could skip waivers altogether if they pursued Cairo Santos, the former Bears kicker who also played for Nagy in Kansas City. He became a free agent Saturday after being cut by the Buccaneers.
NOTE: The Bears’ notable offensive cuts included quarterback Tyler Bray; running back Ryan Nall; receivers Marvin Hall, Thomas Ives, Taquan Mizzell and Tanner Gentry; tight ends Ian Bunting, Dax Raymond and Jesper Horsted; and guard Alex Bars. Defensive players cut included defensive end Jonathan Bullard; outside linebackers Kylie Fitts and James Vaughters; and cornerbacks Clifton Duck, John Franklin and Stephen Denmark.