Bears cut Fry leaving Pineiro last kicker standing

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears' search for a place kicker took another turn on Sunday when the team waived Elliott Fry.

Fry and fellow kicker Eddy Pineiro competed against each other for the job since Chicago opened camp on July 26, but coach Matt Nagy told reporters Sunday that Pineiro earned the opportunity to handle all kicks in practices and games over the final two weeks of the preseason.

"Both kickers for us had done a really good job competing," Nagy said. "It wasn't an easy decision for us. Both kickers had done a lot better [in the preseason] than where we thought they were in OTAs.

"But what this enables us to do now with two preseason games left is get more kicks [for Pineiro]. Now you're not splitting reps in the preseason game, and I think there is a mental aspect too for Eddy with him now able to get out there and kick in these final two preseason games and get those reps. The volume will pick up for him. It's a great opportunity for him to see what he can do."

Pineiro went 2-for-2 on field goals (of 41 and 27 yards) in Chicago's preseason loss to the New York Giants on Friday night.

Fry missed his lone attempt from 47 yards at MetLife Stadium, but did convert a 43-yard kick versus the Carolina Panthers in the Bears' exhibition opener. And the significance of that distance and direction was not lost on the Bears, who lost their opening playoff game to the Eagles in January after Cody Parkey missed the infamous "double-doink" field goal attempt from the same spot. Parkey was released during the offseason.

Nagy stopped short of declaring that Pineiro won the job outright.

"Like any position, we're always out there looking for the best," Nagy said. "Eddy hasn't attempted a kick in an NFL regular-season game, so like any player, that can go either really good or really bad. But we like where we are with him right now."

Pineiro was traded to the Bears after being signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2018.

"The way I look at it, I feel like I haven't won the competition," Pineiro said. "Everything's still open. Who knows if they bring somebody else in? But it does give me a confidence boost, like OK, I have a shot to be the guy and prove to the coaches that I can be the guy that they want me to be. So yeah, I feel a lot more confident, yeah."