All signs are pointing toward Eddy Piñeiro being the Chicago Bears’ place-kicker when the regular season opens up on Thursday:
While the Bears make their roster cuts this evening, Eddy Pineiro remains with the team, a source said. Other options could come available tomorrow but Pineiro is in line to become Chicago's kicker.
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) August 31, 2019
Chris Emma of 670 The Score tweets Piñeiro is in line to be the Bears’ kicker after a grueling offseason where no stone was left unturned in the search for a new kicker.
For the sake of thoroughness, here is a list of kickers who have competed for the Bears gig that was vacated since Cody Parkey was jettisoned this offseason:
- Casey Bednarski
- Emmitt Carpenter
- Spencer Evans
- Justin Yoon
- Caleb Sturgis
- Nick Rose
- Alex Kjellsten
- Chris Blewitt
- Redford Jones
- John Baron II
- Elliott Fry
This collection of kickers does not include players they were rumored to be interested in (Kaare Vedvik) on the trade circuit, college kickers (Matt Gay, Austin Seibert, Cole Tracy), or former NFL punters (Pat McAfee). And it’s quite possible that there are names of kicking candidates who never surfaced. So for the time being, we’ll estimate that Piñeiro emerged as the last-man standing in a search that included *AT LEAST* 16 kickers besides him. Impressive.
Chicago’s search had it all, but it might not be over just yet.
As Emma cautioned in his tweet, other options could become available after the other 31 NFL teams settle on 53-man rosters. So while the most logical conclusion to this chapter features Piñeiro as The Guy for the Bears to start the season, it would not surprise me if GM Ryan Pace takes a good look at the waiver wire before making a final decision. Remember, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy said “a lot of stuff can happen” between now and when the season kicks off. So I suppose we could be in line for one final shift in at the position.
If not, then the Bears will go to battle with a kicker who won a spirited competition, has a notably strong leg, a bit of a prospect pedigree, and made 8 of 9 (88%) field goal tries in the preseason.