And then there were two:
#Bears down to two kickers on the roster (Elliott Fry and Chris Blewitt). They waived Redford Jones and John Baron.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) May 5, 2019
The Chicago Bears trimmed their kicking search considerably on Sunday by waiving Redford Jones and John Baron II. And with the decision to move on from Jones and Baron, it leaves Elliott Fry and Chris Blewitt competing for the gig vacated by Cody Parkey.
Well, for now.
If the Bears were looking to manufacture a competition that would feature a pressure-packed atmosphere despite being at the team’s practice facility and not Soldier Field, then I suppose their mission was accomplished. Chicago started the weekend with eight kickers in town at the team’s rookie mini-camp, including Jones (who was signed before the team parted ways with Parkey) and Baron (who signed as an undrafted free agent). And while the team couldn’t engineer a game-like situation, the kickers knowing what was at stake for them and the importance Chicago’s coaches and front office members have put on the position probably went a long way toward turning up the heat for the competition. Good work, but this should be only the beginning of a race that won’t likely have a winner until late August.
In addition to moving Jones and Baron off the roster, the team passed on signing Casey Bednarski, Emmit Carpenter, Spencer Evans, Alex Kjellsten, and Justin Yoon. Not signing Bednarski seems like something of a surprise. Bednarski finished the weekend strong (celebrating it with a backflip, to boot) and impressed reporters on hand such as Zack Pearson (Bear Report), JJ Stankevitz (NBC Sports Chicago), Dan Wiederer (Chicago Tribune), and Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times). Perhaps there was something more that folks on hand weren’t privy to, but even then, the guy clearly made a strong impression with his big leg.
The Bears will likely keep their eyes open for other suitable kicking options who could give Fry and Blewitt a run for their money, but these two free agent signings are who they’ll deal with for the time being.