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Bears trade for Raiders backup kicker Eddie Pineiro

Florida Football Insiders

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers are not the only team that have been on a “kicking odyssey,” recently. And while Tampa Bay went ahead and drafted Utah rookie Matt Gay in the fifth round last month, the Bears have decided to trade for one it has some experience from last preseason and ties to the University of Florida.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday afternoon that Chicago is dealing a future 7th round conditional pick to the Oakland Raiders for their backup second-year kicker Eddy Pineiro:

Pineiro spent all of last regular-season on injured reserve after apparently leading the way to win the job, as an undrafted free agent. We wrote last August about Pinero having some success kicking in Oakland, especially off the A’s infield at the Oakland Coliseum in Jon Gruden’s rebirth with the Raiders. He had made all three of his field goals and 1-1 on extra points in the 2018 preason.

However, he suffered an groin injury and was placed on IR and did not return.

The Bears are still searching for a kicking solution after they released veteran Cody Parkey soon after their playoff home loss to the Eagles. That’s where Parkey’s potential winning kick in the final seconds was tipped at the line of scrimmage and hit the left upright falling no-good. GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy were particularly angered when Parkey went on the NBC “Today” morning show to discuss his personal difficulty and threats from fans, etc.

As for Pineiro, he is a state product (Miami native), and he had a good college career at Florida. He made 17-18 FG’s during the Gators miserable 2017 season. And combined with his 21-25 year in 2016, he totaled an 88% field goal career mark.

We did take a humorous look at his leg strength prior to the 2017 season, when Pineiro’s practice video of him kicking an 81 yard field goal went viral on Youtube.

The Bears currently have two other relatively unknown kicking prospects on their off season roster, including former Pitt kicker, Chris Blewitt.

The conditional part of the trade for the seventh round selection to go to Oakland is that Pineiro has to be on the active roster for at least five regular season games in 2019. Otherwise, the trade is voided and Oakland essentially just gave him to Chicago.

Florida Gators

Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

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Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.

The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:

A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.

With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.

As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.

Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.

It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.

Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.

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Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools

Jamil King

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.

The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of  former DB C.J. Henderson.

Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.

The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.

Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?

Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.

The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.

Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.

Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.

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