Bears agree to deal with top pick Gabe Carimi
ASSOCIATED PRESS July 29, 2011 2:42PM
The Chicago Bears agreed to a four-year deal with first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi on Friday.
Taken with the 29th pick, the 6-foot-7, 314-pound offensive tackle started 49 games for Wisconsin over four years. He will be counted on to help a Bears offensive line that allowed a league-high 56 sacks last season.
Carimi and the rest of the Wisconsin line paved the way for a running attack that came up just 4 yards short of producing three 1,000-yard rushers last season.
The Bears announced the move on their website. With Carimi signed, Chicago now has all five draft picks under contract.
The Bears still had key issues to address as they reported to camp Friday, including the status of veteran free-agent center Olin Kreutz and starting running back Matt Forte. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Forte has said he wants a new deal and it was not clear if he would report on time. His agent Adisa Bakari declined comment.
Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys receiver Sam Hurd told WMVP-AM in Chicago that he has agreed to a contract with the Bears.
“I’m a Bear,” he told the radio station.
The 6-foot-3 Hurd played at Northern Illinois and spent five seasons in Dallas, catching 45 passes for 630 yards. He is also a special teams contributor and could fill the void created by the losses of Rashied Davis and Danieal Manning.
The Bears announced that they have locked in two draft picks, agreeing to four-year deals with defensive tackle Stephen Paea and safety Chris Conte.
A second-round pick out of Oregon State, Paea was the 2010 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. He had 129 tackles (60 solo) and 14 sacks while setting a school record with nine forced fumbles.
Conte, a third-rounder from California, finished with 157 tackles (100 solo), two interceptions and 11 pass breakups for the Golden Bears. He was first-team, all Pac-10 as a senior.
The Bears had already reached agreements with fifth-round pick Nathan Enderle and sixth-rounder J.T. Thomas.