Parkey, who missed a game-winning field goal for the Bears in the NFC Wild Card Game against the Philadelphia Eagles, won’t officially be cut until June 1, and the Bears will earn some additional salary cap savings based on executing the move on that date.
“At the end of the day, it’s performance-based,” Pace said. “Matt and I wanted to call him before the combine and be honest with him. We had a good conversation with him, an honest conversation. But at the end of the day, it’s performance-based.”
Since the Bears will designate Parkey as a June 1st cut, $1.1 million of his cap hit for the coming year will be deferred to 2020, giving the Bears a bit more salary cap room as they look to sign Parkey’s replacement this spring.
Pace indicated that he would be willing to bring in multiple kickers, and the team has already signed kicker Redford Jones to a reserve contract.
In 16 games with the Bears last season, Parkey made 23-of-30 field goals, but he also missed three extra points during the regular season. In the NFC playoffs, Parkey made three field goals against the Eagles, but he missed the biggest kick of the game, hitting the upright and the crossbar on a kick in the waning seconds of the game.
Parkey further ruffled the feathers of Bears brass when he appeared on the “Today Show” to discuss the experience, with head coach Matt Nagy criticizing the decision in the days that followed.
“We always talk as a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team,” he said at a postseason press conference. “You know, I didn’t necessarily think that was too much of a ‘we’ thing.”
Nagy confirmed the news of Parkey’s departure during an interview Wednesday morning, and said that the kicker handled his release “like a true professional.”
“We’re going to do everything we can and exhaust every avenue,” he said. “I can promise you this: we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.”