Former Bears OT J’Marcus Webb lands with rival Vikings
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter September 1, 2013 9:03PM
Updated: October 3, 2013 6:23AM
With 44 NFL starts at age 25, J’Marcus Webb didn’t figure to be out of work for long. And he wasn’t.
In fact, Webb will be back in town sooner than expected. The enigmatic former Bears offensive tackle was signed by the Vikings, who visit Soldier Field on Sept. 15 — Week 2 of the regular season.
Though many Bears fans would love to see Webb starting at either tackle position in that game, Webb is an insurance policy for the Vikings. They have solid starters in left tackle Matt Kalil, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and right tackle Phil Loadholt, a four-year starter who signed a four-year, $25 million contract in the offseason.
The Vikings reportedly cut Troy Kropog, a former guard from Tulane, to make room for Webb. The Vikes also have third-year tackle DeMarcus Love, who’s serving a four-game suspension.
Though he was castigated by fans in Chicago, Webb still has value as a reserve tackle because of his versatility. A seventh-round draft pick from West Texas A&M, Webb started at right tackle for the Bears in 2010 and left tackle in 2011 and 2012.
He was the Bears’ starting right tackle when training camp opened. But he lost his job to rookie Jordan Mills after the first preseason game, and his training camp deteriorated from there. The Bears cut his salary in half, but even that wasn’t enough to keep him on the roster after Webb had three penalties in the last two preseason games.
With Webb being cut, Roberto Garza is the Bears’ only opening-day starting offensive lineman from 2012 still starting in the NFL. Lance Louis, who suffered an ACL injury against the Vikings last year, was cut by the Dolphins. Webb, Chris Spencer (Titans) and Gabe Carimi (Buccaneers) are backups.