Bears Officially Release Kicker Cody Parkey

Parkey's lone season in Chicago will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Chris Emma
March 13, 2019 - 5:31 pm
Bears kicker Cody Parkey leaves the field after missing a game-winning field-goal attempt.

Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) The Bears releasing kicker Cody Parkey first seemed to be an inevitability in January, became a finalized decision in February and is now official with the start of the new league year that came Wednesday. Chicago has parted ways with the embattled Parker after just one season of a four-year deal.

Parkey will be designated as a post-June 1 release, which reduces the cap hit from $5.1 million to just more than $4 million. The Bears won't retain cap room by releasing Parkey, who was signed last March to a four-year, $15-million deal with $9 million guaranteed.

The 26-year-old Parkey was 23-of-30 on field-goal attempts in 2018 but had his one and only season with the Bears defined by costly misses. Parkey missed a game-winning 52-yard field-goal attempt in overtime of Chicago's 31-28 loss at Miami on Oct. 14. The Bears would eventually fall one victory shy of a first-round bye in the playoffs, which was a key reason that they ended up in the wild-card round.

Related: Bears free agency tracker

Parkey also missed four kicks -- two field goals and two extra points -- off the uprights in the Bears' 34-22 win against the Lions on Nov 11. It proved to be foreshadowing for the miss that ultimately will live in infamy in Chicago well beyond his release.

With the Bears trailing 16-15 against the Eagles in the wild-card game on Jan. 6, Parkey was called upon for a go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining. His attempt hit off the left upright and the bottom crossbar before bouncing out, ending the Bears' season on that note.

The support Parkey had received during the entire year wore out after he decided to appear on the "Today Show" five days after the loss.

"We always talk about a 'we' and not a 'me' thing," coach Matt Nagy said in a season-ending press conference. "And we always talk as a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team. I didn't necessarily think that was too much of a 'we' thing."

The Bears have struggled to address the kicker position since the ill-fated decision to release Robbie Gould, the franchise's all-time leading scorer, in September 2016. Gould was tendered the franchise tag by the 49ers in February, keeping him under contract in San Francisco. 

Gould has missed only three field-goal attempts -- going 82-of-85 -- since being released from Chicago. Meanwhile, the Bears have used four different kickers in regular-season games since parting ways with Gould.

The Bears have signed two kickers since the end of the season, adding Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt. Neither kicker has played in the NFL. The team has also done its work on kickers available in the NFL Draft.

Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers agreed to a deal with the Seahawks on Tuesday, according to reports. Wil Lutz, who was set for free agency, signed a five-year contract with the Saints to keep him in New Orleans.

Four-time Pro Bowl kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who has played for the Patriots since 2006, is slated to become a free agent and could be an option for the Bears.

In other news that became official Wednesday, the Bears officially announced the signings of cornerback Buster Skrine on a three-year deal, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson on a two-year deal and running back Mike Davis on a two-year deal.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​​