Bears' DT Amobi Okoye signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bears' DT Amobi Okoye signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

CHICAGO – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have confirmed a one-year deal for former Chicago Bears’ DT Amobi Okoye. According to NFL reporter Adam Caplan, Okoye’s deal with the Bucs is worth $2 million and includes $700,000 guaranteed.

The Bears acquired the former first-round draft pick from the Houston Texans in 2011 on a one-year deal worth $1.3 million (none of which had been guaranteed).

Okoye was named Defensive Rookie of the Month in September of 2007, but he struggled thereafter and was ultimately released by the Texans last season.

With the Bears, he notched four sacks in 593 snaps (only one start) in 2011.

Okoye is the second defensive tackle the team has lost this offseason after releasing nose tackle Anthony Adams.

It was believed that the Bears would have liked to resign Okoye, but cap restrictions may have limited what they were able to offer the 24 year-old.

"I think Amobi is trying to decide which direction he's going," GM Phil Emery said in a conference call with season ticket holders just one day ago. "We've had conversations with him. So far we haven't been able to work out a deal. I really believe that Amobi is probably going in a different direction."

With Okoye gone, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine the Bears making it out of the first-round of the draft without a defensive lineman.

Filed under: Free Agency, Players

Tags: Amobi Okoye


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  • I have written I was a big Okoye fan. Well I know in business and football usually, our memory of Okoye will be defined more by the person that he is replaced with than anything.

    Now, DT becomes a possibility in the first round....though, since I am GM Mouser, I do not spend that pick on DT because I have talent, starting talent, already on I'm thinking lower rounds and depth.

  • A little off topic...but I have been is largely about creating draft selection that just isn't mentioned for the Bears at no. 1 is TE Coby Fleener.

    It might be considered a reach by others...but I don't really believe in that theory because GMs select players they believe will help their specific situation and strategy...sometimes others consider it reaching but if the player turns in to a pro...then it is not reaching.

    I don't know that much about Fleener...does he create that mis-match and is he such a significant upgrade that the Bears would use that pick there? I think GM Mouser says no but just curious about other people's thoughts since no one is writing about that possibility.

  • In reply to Mouser:

    If mismatches is your agenda, why not grab a top-flight WR to pair with Marshall???

    I like Fleener, but if Floyd, Wright, & Hill are available, I like the possibility of having two #1 receivers to cause mismatches way more than a #1 WR & TE combo.

  • In reply to Alpha79:

    I would be ok with Floyd or Wright...I don't like Fleener as a #1 pick because I haven't seen a Bears team us a TE to its advantage over the course of a season but I think he will be available for consideration. The top pick at any position usually works out good, no matter what spot you select him in.

    I would take a LT / WR /DE with my first 3 picks depending on how things played out. I could see the Bears in a position to land a good lineman in the first round and trade up to land Hill if he falls to the second round. I also think there will be good picks at all three positions in the 2nd and 3rd round. WR is one of the toughest to project for me so I have a tendency to be leery of 1st round WR picks...big bust factor

  • Could be a sign that they have in plan to expand Stephen Paea's role on the line.

  • I liked what Paea did last year...and I would expect him to get better. I find it curious though that Okoye only signed a 1 year deal. The old phrase talking about how a GM likes to build through the draft is redundant and unnecessary because in the world of salary cap, you can only afford so many Urlachers, Briggs, Cutlers, Peppers, and now fact, I think 6 or 7 stars making 6+ million a year eat up so much cap space that it limits what you can do...except through the draft.

    I read occassionally about bears trading up...there are only 2 first round players I would trade up for... Quenton Couples and Reily Rief. I think the better trade up happens in the second round when one of those 1st rounders slips...someone like Mike Adams or Stephan Hill or Courney Upshaw

  • Mark Barron anyone?

    I have yet to see anyone project the Bears to select the consensus best safety in the draft. Why is that?

  • That is an interesting thought...I believe Safey to be one of the cogs of the machine in a cover 2 scheme and the Bears have trying in vain to replace Mike Brown. I like what Conte did last year, but it is just one year and we were comparing to some historically horrible safety play.
    I personally believe that Steltz if the most fundamentally sound of the safeties. This is a make or break season for Major Wright imo. I just want the bears to draft good, starting caliber players at whatever position....I think they will take a safety in the draft for sure but it would be suprising in the first round...but if he can be a pro in this league...the value to a defense like we run would be huge.

  • Some intersting factoids...lets look at the 2005 draft and what is known as "group think". This might be one of the worst top draft classes in the history of history... only a couple of blue chip players and there were some great players of that draft class were selected below pick 19
    1. Alex Smith
    2..Ronnie Brown
    3. Braylon Edwards
    4. Cedric Benson
    5. Cadillac Williams
    6. Pac Man Jones
    7. Troy Williamson
    8. Antrel Rolle
    9. Carlos Rogers
    10. Mike Williams
    11. Demarcus Ware
    12. Shawn Merriman
    13. Jamal Brown
    15. Derrick Johnson
    24. Aaron Rogers
    27. Roddy White
    30. Heath Miller
    32. Logan Mankins

  • I was home today with a lot of time on my I went back 20 years of Bears drafts to see how we got here....the following draft of 2007 is why we have a new GM...

    RND 2007
    1 Greg Olsen
    2 Dan Bauzine
    3 Garrett Wolfe
    3 Michael Okwo
    4 Josh Beekman
    5 Kevin Payne
    5 Corey Graham
    7 Trumaine McBride
    7 Aaron Brandt
    These are players who should be the backbone of your team as they are in their prime...5 year pros. One traded for a 3rd round pick, one gone in FA and all the rest out of football completely as far as I know.

    As near as I was able to tell, there were only 4 7th round picks in 20 years to produce at a starting level (sort of)... Pat Mannelly ( a pro's pro but in a specialty kraft), Mike Green, Lance Louis and J'Marcus Webb...kinda calls into question the whole shotgun theory of drafting. There are a few notables in the 5th and 6th round, but not as many as I thought prior to assembling the data. I went back to 1992...I am afraid to look at 80-85 cause the Bears of the 80's was built through the draft.

  • WOW!

    ...horrible draft that was! None of those guys even play for us now! #EpicFail

  • Here are some 5th and 6th round picks of note...
    Johnny Knox 5th in 2009
    Kellen Davis 5th in 2008
    Corey Graham 5th in 2007
    Mark Andreson 5th in 2006
    Chris Harris 6th in 2005
    Justin Gage, Bobby Wade 5th 2003
    Adrian Peterson 6th 2002
    Paul Edinger 6th 2000
    Jerry Azumah 5th 1999
    Patrick Manelly 6th 1998...and that is about it for 20 years. The Bears have had 22 5th round picks, 26 6th round picks, and 27 7th round picks by my math in 20 years...again, why do we collect low round picks? Well Richard Dent was a low round was Mark Bortz and Chris Villarial...but that was BA (before Angelo).

    The reality cops always get their man!

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