Miami Dolphins’ exodus continues with K Cody Parkey going to Bears

Cody Parkey, from Jupiter, is headed to the Bears on a new deal. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

The Dolphins are saying goodbye to the man who gave them arguably the best season by a kicker in their history. Cody Parkey is headed to the Bears, a source confirmed.

Parkey, from Jupiter, came to Miami a week before the start of last season and hit a 54-yard game-winner in his debut. That was just the beginning. He made 21 of 23 attempts on the season, missing only from 48 and 50 yards, and became the first kicker in documented NFL history to convert four onside kicks in a season.

He was also at the center of the best kickoff unit in the league, with Dolphins’ opponents getting an average starting field position of their own 23-yard line.

Miami is letting that talent walk out the door and will search for a kicker once again. Since the Dolphins cut Dan Carpenter in 2013, no kicker has lasted more than two seasons.

They drafted Caleb Sturgis in the fifth round that year and cut him in 2015 in favor of Andrew Franks. Franks was set to kick for a third season last year before the Browns put Parkey on waivers and the Dolphins claimed him.

His lone season in South Florida was a dream come true for a lifelong Dolphins fan. After his game-winner against the Chargers in the opener, he made the game-tying and game-winning field goals at Atlanta and a 39-yarder with 22 seconds left to beat the Jets.

Parkey, 26, was thought to be far better than Franks in every department, and it appeared the team had finally found a long-term answer at kicker. Special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi called him “an upgrade across the board” in December.

“He’s really been what we expected: He’s a consistent guy, he’s got a great approach, he has a professional approach,” he said. “He’s a very good self-evaluator and a lot of times, it might sound simple; but as a kicker, that’s a big thing. He’s got a great demeanor.
“He’s been consistent since he got into the league, and hopefully that continues. I’ve had a pleasure working with him. He’s been really good, not only in the field goal area but also on the kickoff area. We ask him to do a bunch of different things between deep kicks, short kicks, onside kicks. He’s been a great welcome addition.”

Known locally as The Jupiter Juggernaut, Parkey had an excellent career at Auburn before making the Eagles’ roster as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He made the Pro Bowl that year by hitting 32 of 36 field goals and setting the NFL’s rookie scoring record with 150 total points.

He was injured for most of the 2015 season and waived the following summer. Parkey got another chance in September 2016, when the Browns needed a kicker on short notice before their game against the Dolphins.

Parkey signed with the Browns the day before the game and made 3 of 6 field goals against the Dolphins. He missed a 46-yarder to win it at the end of regulation, and Miami won 30-24 in overtime.

[Ndamukong Suh was a luxury the Dolphins could never afford]

[What Jarvis Landry said after being traded to Cleveland]

[Miami Dolphins master the art of wasting their best draft picks]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook