The kicking competition heard around the world has its winner. Well, maybe. Head Coach Matt Nagy informed the media on Sunday that the team would be releasing kicker Elliott Fry. Eddy Pineiro remains the only kicker left, in a competition that began with eight kickers.
Pineiro may be the last man standing, but don’t assume the job is now his. If Pineiro struggles moving forward, Nagy, Ryan Pace and the Bears will likely look outside of the organization for help.
Pineiro has had the stronger leg of the two but has struggled with accuracy thus far. Pineiro nailed a 63-yarder at training camp in Bourbonnais. In preseason games, Fry was 1-2 on field goal attempts, while Pineiro was 3-4. Fry hit from the Parkey spot (43 yards) and missed from 48 yards.
If Pineiro makes the Bears roster, the team will send a seventh-round pick to the Oakland Raiders as part of a conditional trade the Bears and Raiders made that sent Pineiro to Chicago.
One takeaway: this competition seemingly isn’t going too well. The Bears have gone through eight kickers and are still looking around the league for an upgrade. Does that look like they instill confidence in any of these kickers?
If this problem lingers into the regular season and kicks begin costing the Bears games again, Ryan Pace will have questions to answer. After all, this was the biggest question heading into the offseason.
For now, the big-legged but inaccurate Pineiro is the lone man standing. He should get all the opportunities in the Bears third preseason game in Indianapolis. Should he struggle, look for Pace and Nagy to bring somebody else in to compete with Pineiro.
Featured Photo: Brian O’Mahoney/Chicago Sun-Times