Bears

Wood enjoying retirement, knows he made the right call

766838.png

Wood enjoying retirement, knows he made the right call

Kerry Wood is learning what its like to be a Cubs fan.

The recently-retired Wood was on hand in the Cubs clubhouse at Wrigley Field prior to the series finale against Arizona on Sunday. But he wasnt planning to stick around for the actual game.

Im 0-for-2 as a fan, Wood said. So Im leaving before it starts.

Wood said he has kept busy since his dramatic May 18 retirement. While he remains active with the Wood Family Foundation charitable organization, much of his time goes to hanging out with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.

Ive been waiting a long time for this, he said. Its been great. Its been Little League games and fishing. Its been a great summer. Its my first summer off in 25-plus years, so its been enjoyable.

Wood said hes being host to a baseball clinic beginning Monday, and that his foundation is joining with the Cubs to build a new high school baseball field on Addison Street, just west of Western Avenue and adjacent to Lane Tech High Schools Lane Stadium. Wood said groundbreaking will come soon on the field that will be used by Chicago high schools and for clinics.

While Wood is mostly out of the public eye now, his national commercial for State Farm has brought loads of attention. In it, Wood pulls from the ivy an old, brick-like cell phone, a French horn, and, of course, Andre Dawson.

The commercial, filmed about three weeks ago, has been a hit.

Ive gotten some good feedback, Wood said. It took nine hours, for that 30-second spot, but it was fun doing it. It was fun hanging out with Hawk all day. Ive had people calling me about it from all over the country.

As for his future, Wood ruled out any immediate move into coaching or management.

Those guys spend so much more time around here than players do, so it would be kind of counterproductive of what I wanted to do, he said. Id like to be here as much as I can without being in the way. So Ill be around, but I dont for sure exactly what (my role will be).

Hell likely be in an advisory role for the Cubs, especially as the season winds down. He said he expects to be around Wrigley more often once August rolls in, and when rosters expand in September.

One thing he said he wont worry about is making a comeback.

Im enjoying family life too much, he said. I tried playing catch (Sunday), so I know (retirement is) the right decision.

Bears release kicker Elliott Fry

8-11elliottfry.jpg
USA Today

Bears release kicker Elliott Fry

For now, Eddy Pineiro is the last man standing.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced Sunday that the team released kicker Elliott Fry after two preseason games.

The former AAF kicker went 1-for-2 on field goals in the preseason, hitting from 43 and missing from 47. He hit both of the Bears’ extra point attempts.

Pineiro missed from 48 yards in the preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers, but hit from 41 yards against the New York Giants and is 3-for-4 overall. He hasn’t attempted an extra point yet.

Each kicker also attempted three kickoffs in the first two games. According to Pro Football Focus, Pineiro averaged one more yard per kickoff with a longer average hangtime. All three of Fry’s kickoffs were returned, while Pineiro had one touchback.

The Bears invested a seventh-round pick to trade for Pineiro, and now he has two more weeks to prove he was worth the deal.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

In the meantime, Ryan Pace will keep his eye on the other kickers around the league with the option to reignite the kicker competition in Chicago at any time.

Former Bears RB Cedric Benson dies in overnight motorcycle accident

cedric-benson.jpg
AP Images

Former Bears RB Cedric Benson dies in overnight motorcycle accident

Former Bears fourth-overall pick Cedric Benson passed away Saturday night at the age of 36.

His friends and family have confirmed to various reporters that the former running back was involved in a motorcycle accident near Austin, Texas.

Benson spent his first three seasons in Chicago after a prolific college career at the University of Texas.

He unseated Bears veteran Thomas Jones following the team’s trip to the Super Bowl in 2006, but suffered a season-ending ankle injury 11 games into his only season as the full-time starter.

Chicago released him in the 2008 offseason after a pair of arrests, but he got his career back on track for four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Benson finished his career with the Green Bay Packers in 2012, playing five games before a Lisfranc injury ended his season and ultimately his career.

Some of Benson’s former Bears teammates took to social media to react to the tragedy.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.