Three times in the last six years, the Chicago Bears have spent their top draft choice on an offensive lineman. Now, for the second time in that span, one of those draft picks is heading out of town after an injury-plagued start to his pro career.
As reported by ESPN Chicago, the Bears have traded third-year man Gabe Carimi to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chicago will get only a sixth-round pick in next year’s draft in exchange for the former Wisconsin star, who played a grand total of 18 games in a Bear uniform.
Carimi, who’s been rehabbing the balky knee that hampered his performance a season ago, was expected to have a tough time finding a spot on the depth chart in a crowded pool of guards. Even so, it’s hard to see how the Bears benefit from pulling the trigger on a trade at this point in the offseason.
The Minnesota Vikings concluded their second week of Organised Team Activities today at Winter Park, the team's practice facility. The importance of OTA's is sometimes played down but for this core group of young players it is essential. It gives them a chance to get to know one another better, for the new additions to familiarise themselves with the Playbook and the coaching staff.
So, these sessions will be invaluable down the line. Head Coach Leslie Frazier will learn a great deal about his players as he formulates plans for the gruelling training camp period.
Here are some observations from the Vikings' first set of off-season workouts:
Nearly every member of the Chicago Bears is in Illinois this week for offseason training activities, but the focus has been on the one who isn’t: offensive lineman Gabe Carimi. The 2011 first-round pick is in Arizona, trying to get his perpetually injured right knee back to 100 percent.
Speculation has been heavy that Carimi is hurting his chances of staying on the roster by his conspicuous absence, but a report from the Chicago Sun-Times suggests otherwise. The paper notes that GM Phil Emery (during an interview on SiriusXM radio) said “we respect [Carimi’s decision]. And he’ll be welcomed back with open arms when he comes back.”
Emery’s comments bring a welcome sense of perspective to Carimi’s situation. Although a player missing OTAs can be a sign of friction between the individual and the team, there’s no indication that such a problem exists for the third-year lineman.
The 2013 NFL Draft is in the books, and the Chicago Bears’ choices over the weekend raised a lot of eyebrows. GM Phil Emery didn’t add the pass-catching tight end many analysts expected, and the first player he did bring in was one of the most unlikely choices of the first round.
Here’s a look at every pick the Bears made and how successful each move is likely to be (corrected for lower expectations in the later rounds):
Round 1 (Pick 20): OG Kyle Long, Oregon
The second son of former Raider Howie Long to wind up in the NFL, Kyle Long may wind up blocking older brother Chris when the Bears play the Rams in November.
Kyle is a phenomenal athlete at 6’6”, 313 lbs, and he can play multiple positions on the line (a major need for Chicago). However, he’s also immensely raw, with just one season of college experience, and the Bears had plenty of chances to address other needs with more proven players here.
Round 2 (Pick 50): LB Jon Bostic, Florida
As the Chicago Bears look to rebuild their offense under new coach Marc Trestman, one obvious area of concern is depth at wide receiver. Brandon Marshall is a superstar and second-year man Alshon Jeffery shows great promise, but the pass-catching corps gets thin very quickly after those two.
Now, one of the biggest names (and loudest mouths) in NFL receiving history is expressing interest in joining Jay Cutler’s list of targets. As reported by CSN Chicago, Terrell Owens wants to get back into the NFL, and he wants to do it in a Bear uniform.
Owens’ affinity for the Bears (for whom he’s never played) stems from his past association with Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator and QB coach in San Francisco when T.O. was getting his start as a 49er. Additionally, the fact that the Bears have an obvious need at his position probably isn’t lost on a player who knows just how slim the market is for 39-year-old wideouts.