CHICAGO — It’s difficult to know whether the Bears are any closer to finding a kicker they can count on for the 2019 season.
But the team made another roster move on that front Wednesday morning, cutting Chris Blewitt.
Blewitt earned an opportunity to compete for the Bears’ kicking job in March. He was signed after showing signs of promise during a group tryout at Halas Hall. But his inconsistency from rookie minicamp through organized team activities and now into minicamp convinced the Bears to move on.
The team still has two full minicamp practices left this week. And it’s notable that they were decisive in waiving Blewitt before the week was up. That leaves Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry as the competitors for the kicking job. And, as was well-documented Tuesday after Pineiro, Blewitt and Fry all failed on a field-goal attempt from just outside of 40 yards, coach Matt Nagy’s patience is wearing thin.
“Whatever went through your mind went through my mind,” Nagy said of the three consecutive misses. “They went back-to-back-to-back and all three missed. So they are being evaluated not just by (the media), not just by me but by their teammates. Again, do you make it or do you miss it? We missed three today.”
It certainly felt like a significant snapshot of the Bears’ struggles to find stability at kicker.
Blewitt went undrafted out of Pitt in 2017 after becoming the Panthers’ all-time leading scorer. He has heard all the jokes about his last name and understands it is a tad ironic, maybe the worst possible name for a kicker outside of Charlie Brown.
But now Blewitt will have to try to revive his professional career elsewhere. And the Bears remain in an ongoing and increasingly desperate search to address their need for a reliable kicker.
Chiefs sign Schwartz to 1-year extension
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs signed All-Pro offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz to a one-year extension Wednesday that could keep him with the AFC West champions through the 2021 season.
The 30-year-old Schwartz has not missed a snap in his seven-year career, a streak that began with four seasons in Cleveland and has continued the past three seasons in Kansas City.
The streak surpassed 7,000 snaps late last season, when Schwartz was chosen first-team All-Pro.
Schwartz signed a $33 million, five-year deal with the Chiefs in 2016.
Titans to retire George’s, McNair’s numbers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk says nobody with the Titans will ever wear Eddie George’s No. 27 nor the No. 9 of the late Steve McNair again, players who helped the franchise through its difficult relocation from Houston to Tennessee to its lone Super Bowl berth.
Strunk announced Wednesday that the franchise will retire both numbers Sept. 15 at their home opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
George said he never expected such an honor without having first been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jaguars sign 3rd-rounder Williams
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Quincy Williams, a third-round draft pick from Murray State, has signed his rookie contract. Williams signed a four-year deal following mandatory minicamp practice Wednesday, becoming the last of the team’s seven draft picks to do so.
14-year-old dies after conditioning drills
TAMPA, Fla. — Authorities say a Florida teen has died after collapsing during conditioning drills with his school’s football team. The Tampa Bay Times reported that 14-year-old Hezekiah Walters collapsed Tuesday afternoon at Middleton High School.
Tampa police say the team had been conducting drills for about a half-hour when the incoming freshman lost consciousness. He later died at a hospital. Police say the practice included weightlifting and wind sprints with water breaks.
Stanton homers twice in rehab assignment
TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton homered twice in a minor league rehab game with Class A Tampa on Wednesday night.
Stanton hasn’t played for the Yankees since March 31. He originally went on the injured list with a strained left biceps but strained his left shoulder while rehabbing and then had a rehab assignment with Tampa stopped after one game on May 20 due to left calf tightness.
Durant has surgery on ruptured achilles
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant confirmed what everyone most feared: He underwent surgery for a ruptured right Achilles tendon.
Durant posted on social media Wednesday the severity of his injury two days after getting hurt during Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto in his return from a strained right calf that sidelined him a month.
The 30-year-old posted a photo on Instagram showing himself in a hospital bed and wrote: “I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY.”
Grizzlies introduce new head coach Jenkins
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Taylor Jenkins is the Memphis Grizzlies’ fourth head coach since Memphis reached the 2013 Western Conference finals. The Grizzlies introduced Jenkins on Wednesday, a day after announcing his hiring.
Jenkins, 34, was Mike Budenholzer’s assistant in Milwaukee this season and in Atlanta for five seasons. He started in the NBA as an intern with the San Antonio front office before going into coaching with the Spurs’ G League team.
Kansas lands last top-50 recruit
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas has landed small forward Jalen Wilson, the last remaining top-50 prospect, to polish off a recruiting class that will finish among the top 20 in the country. The 6-foot-8 Wilson was a longtime commit to Michigan, but he reopened his recruitment when coach John Beilein left the Wolverines for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wilson took visits to North Carolina and Kansas before making his pledge to the Jayhawks public on Wednesday.