The Bears reopened their kicker competition by signing Ramiz Ahmed last week, and general manager Ryan Pace made clear Tuesday that nothing is guaranteed for incumbent Eddy Pineiro.
Pace expects a full-on kicker battle for a second consecutive offseason. And while it won’t be the circus the Bears held last year, he believes it will be similar to when Pineiro and Elliott Fry got equal opportunities last summer.
“We see those guys competing,” Pace said. “Look, we love Eddy, and we think his future’s very bright. ... But those two competing against each other is a really good thing.”
The Bears had their eye on Ahmed, now 24, when he came out of Nevada after the 2018 season. That year, as a senior, he made 15 of 20 field goals and 40 of 44 extra points.
Pineiro won the job in the middle of August last year and held it throughout the season despite many ups and downs. He finished 23-for-28 on field goals and 27-for-29 on extra points.
He anticipated having to fight for the job again
“Last year, I had to compete against eight different guys, so I don’t think that’s going to change,” Pineiro told the Chicago Sun-Times in January. “Hopefully it’s not eight again, but I definitely expect competition.
“If I’m the only guy, that would be a blessing, but I expect competition. They’ve always got guys to compete against you. ... Then we’ll go to war like I did with Elliott. We’ll go back to war. Should be fun.”