NFL: Bears sign kicker Chris Blewitt, release Cody Parkey

The Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have signed kicker Chris Blewitt.

Blewitt left Pittsburgh as the school’s career scoring leader with 363 points after making 55 of 79 field goals and 198 of 204 extra points from 2013-16.

But Blewitt he has not played in the NFL. The Bears announced the signing on Wednesday.

Chicago also released embattled kicker Cody Parkey Wednesday. The club signed kicker Redford Jones in January.

Free Agency Capsule

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Adrian Amos, WR Josh Bellamy, RB Benny Cunningham, FB Michael Burton, WR Kevin White, TE Zach Miller, G Eric Kush, LB Aaron Lynch, CB Bryce Callahan, P Pat O’Donnell.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S DeAndre Houston-Carson, LS Patrick Scales.

NEEDS: Bears don’t have many glaring needs after winning NFC North in coach Matt Nagy’s first season and ending run of four last-place finishes. One notable exception: kicker. Bears plan to release embattled Cody Parkey after one rough season that ended with miss off upright and crossbar in playoff loss to Philadelphia.

Bears signed Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt, but neither has kicked in NFL game. Also signed RT Bobby Massie to four-year contract extension through 2022 and have all five starting linemen under contract for next season. Figure to try to keep Callahan and Amos as well. RB Jordan Howard, entering contract year, could be trade candidate if Chicago opts to look outside for better fit for Nagy’s offense. Bears have no draft picks until third round.

AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $17.1 million.

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