Bears trade offensive lineman Gabe Carimi to Buccaneers
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org June 9, 2013 7:11PM
Chicago Bears tackle Gabe Carimi (72) is on the field in the first half of the exhibition season opener against the Denver Broncos Thursday August 9, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
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Updated: June 10, 2013 4:15PM
In no time, offensive lineman Gabe Carimi will be poked, prodded, X-rayed and examined from head to toe, with extra attention given to his right leg. But it won’t be by the Bears. It will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Sun-Times was first to report Sunday that the Bears traded Carimi to the Buccaneers. The Bears received a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft. The deal is contingent on Carimi passing a physical with the Bucs.
A source said Carimi was set to travel to Tampa, Fla., on Monday morning. The trade comes just before the Bears’ first mandatory minicamp under coach Marc Trestman.
Physicals are set for Monday. Carimi garnered plenty of headlines this offseason for his decision to train on his own in Arizona and not attend any of the Bears’ organized team activities.
The Sun-Times reported Wednesday that Carimi, who returned to Chicago last week, was planning to participate in the minicamp, which runs Tuesday to Thursday. But now, if he checks out physically, Carimi will be on the field with the Buccaneers, who have their minicamp during the same days.
The Buccaneers do have a connection to Carimi in offensive line coach Bob Bostad. He coached Carimi at Wisconsin. Former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo selected Carimi out of Wisconsin with the 29th overall selection in the 2011 draft. And now there are currently no first-round picks from the Angelo era on the Bears’ roster.
Carimi was expected to be the Bears’ long-term solution at right tackle, but injuries derailed that. He started 10 games at right tackle last season and three at right guard. But despite all the playing time, he was never healthy after dislocating his right knee cap in Week 2 of the 2011 season and needing multiple surgeries. Carimi did attend the Bears’ voluntary minicamp in April, saying that his main goal this offseason was getting back to 100 percent. He worked with trainer LeCharles Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman, in Arizona.
General manager Phil Emery said last week that the Bears respected Carimi’s decision to train on his own, noting that OTAs are voluntary. “Certainly he wants to play and wants to play well,” Emery said. “I think that’s why he’s approached his training that way.” But Carimi already was on the bubble. The Bears signed Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod, which forced J’Marcus Webb to the right side, where he is competing against Jonathan Scott. The Bears then drafted tackle Jordan Mills, who has impressed the team in OTAs, in the fifth round.
Trestman also said he viewed Carimi as a guard in their new system. The Bears added veteran guard Matt Slauson and took guard Kyle Long with the 20th overall pick in this year’s draft. The Bears also are high second-year guard James Brown. The Bears were in contact with Carimi in Arizona, but the team definitely wanted him to participate in OTAs, especially with a new coaching staff and a new offense being installed.
“We’d like all our players to be here, but Gabe made a decision that was best for Gabe,” Emery said. What the Bears saw in Slauson and Brown, who worked with the first team during OTAs, and have in Long, and to an extent, Mills, appears to simply have made Carimi expendable.
With the trade of offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, there are currently no first-round picks on the Bears roster left from former general manager Jerry Angelo’s tenure.
Take a look back:
2002: OL Marc Columbo
2003: DE Michael Haynes
2004: DT Tommie Harris
2005: RB Cedric Benson
2007: TE Greg Olsen
2008: OT Chris Williams
2011: OT Gabe Carimi