Bears cut kicker Cody Parkey
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The Bears said last month they planned to cut kicker Cody Parkey on the first day of the new league season.
On Wednesday afternoon, they did just that.
Parkey will become a free agent, and the Bears will continue their search for a new kicker. The team figures to bring in a veteran to challenge Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt, two kickers with no NFL experience. Last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, general manager Ryan Pace laid out the traits he wanted in a new kicker.
‘‘I think leg strength is important, especially in Chicago,’’ he said. ‘‘You’ve got to knife through the wind. That’s something that I would say is a high priority for us. . . .
‘‘I think one thing we always have to consider is the conditions we’re playing in with our wind elements. There’s a lot of things that go into it, no different than any other position. Some of it’s mental; some of it’s physical.’’
Parkey missed eight field goals in his only season with the team, none more important than a 43-yard attempt that would’ve beaten the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs. His “double-doink” kick hit the upright and the crossbar. Parkey angered his bosses five days later when he appeared on the “Today” show to talk about the miss.
The Bears are on the hook to pay Parkey $3.5 million in 2019. Their cap hit will be spread over two years as part of a post-June 1 maneuver.
The Bears signed Parkey to a four-year, $15 million deal with $9 million guaranteed just last year.