The Bears kicker’s appearance on the Today show last week apparently didn’t go over well with the team’s decision-makers, who could be making a decision on Parkey’s future soon.
Via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Bears coach Matt Nagy said Parkey didn’t tell him about his plan to appear on NBC after his traumatic miss in the Bears’ wild card loss to the Eagles.
“For me, you understand that we always talk about a ‘we’ and not a ‘me’ thing, and we always talk as a team — we win as a team, we lose as a team,” Nagy said. “You know, I just, I didn’t necessarily think that that was too much of a ‘we’ thing.”
Asked if it was appropriate, Nagy replied: “Again, I didn’t think it was a ‘we’ thing.”
Parkey missed a combined 10 kicks during the regular season — 23-of-30 on field goals, 42-of-45 on extra points — and hit five uprights during the regular season. When he hit both the upright and the crossbar (on a kick that was tipped at the line of scrimmage), it cost the Bears a playoff win, and the goodwill of his bosses.
General Manager Ryan Pace wasn’t as gruff as Nagy, but made it clear they wanted better performance in 2019.
“That position is an emphasis for us,” Pace said. “We understand we need to get better, get more production out of that position. Matt talks about it all the time: There’s so much parity in our league, so many close games, the kicker position is critical. We know we need to get better there and it’ll be an area of focus.”
Pace was noncommittal when asked if Parkey would be back next year, as part of competition or at all. Because they signed him to a four-year, $15 million contract last offseason which included $9 million guaranteed, the Bears would take a significant cash and cap hit if they get rid of him this offseason.