Cody Parkey has more guaranteed money coming his way after signing a free agent contract with the Bears last year, but his actual job with the team is far from secure.
Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace met with the assembled media at Halas Hall in their season-ending press conference on Monday. And while we’ll get into the nitty-gritty later on, one thing popped out as an obvious point of immediate emphasis – the kicking game.
When asked if Parkey would return for 2019, Pace said the kicking game was “an area of emphasis” for the team (via @ChicagoBears). Considering how the season ended, that feels like an understatement, but also something that needed to be directly addressed today. Pace would go on to express his understanding that there’s a need to get better at the position (via Adam Hoge) and that there would “definitely be competition” at the position (via Zack Pearson).
*shoots off fireworks in celebration*
Excellence in the kicking game has been lacking since the team parted ways with Robbie Gould before the start of the 2016 season. And even though Pace has hit on several draft picks, made some key free agent signings, retained some important players, and hired a head coach who may very well win the NFL’s Coach of the Year honors, finding an accurate kicker has been a bug-a-boo. That Parkey missed what would’ve been a game-winning field goal only puts more salt in the wound. But at least the Bears see the problem and plan on addressing it this offseason.
As for Parkey’s moment on NBC’s TODAY show last Friday, Nagy said Parkey didn’t mention it during last week’s exit interview. And frankly, he didn’t sound too found of it (not that I blame him):
Matt Nagy on Cody Parkey's appearance on the Today Show: "We always talk about a 'we' and not a 'me' thing. We win as a team and we lose as a team. I didn't necessarily think it was a 'we' thing."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) January 14, 2019
Ooh, sick burn.
Between Nagy’s critical response reacting to Parkey’s nationally televised attempt at a mea culpa and Pace’s insistence that there will be competition for the gig all but hints at Parkey’s footing in Chicago being on thin ice. Buckle up, folks. The Bears’ offseason is officially underway.