Former Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt signed with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday after standing out during a group tryout at Halas Hall on Wednesday, according to a report from Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Blewitt beat out former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Patrick Murray for the opportunity, among others.
Blewitt has no previous NFL experience other than taking part in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie minicamp in 2017, but he won a field goal competition in Phoenix in February, which piqued the interest of the Bears front office, prompting his call-up. The competition involved almost 100 draft-eligible specialists and free agents and was organized by Kohl's Football Kicking and Punting Camps.
The native of Alexandria, Virginia, played for Pitt between 2013 and 2016 and became the Panthers’ all-time leader in made fields goals and extra points, with 55 and 198, respectively. He converted on 69.6 percent of his field goals and 97.1 percent of his extra points during his collegiate career, and his most notable moment in blue and gold came in the 2016 upset of Clemson, when he made the game-winning field goal from 48 yards out.
While Wednesday’s developments constitute a step forward in Blewitt’s career, nothing is guaranteed for the former Pitt specialist, as the Bears previously signed former Tulsa kicker Redford Jones. The two will compete for the job of Cody Parkey, who missed a potentially game-winning field goal in the NFC Wild Card Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Parkey is expected to be cut from the team after the start of the league year on March 13.