I must admit, when former GM Jerry Angelo drafted offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, I was all for it. In fact, that’s exactly who I had selected in my mock draft. But we did not know the extent of his knee troubles, for that kind of reconnaissance work is what scouts and GMs are there for. However, in this case, Angelo had access to all of Carimi’s medical records, yet apparently decided to roll the dice anyway.
And it looks like he came up snake eyes.
While he did play in the majority of games at Wisconsin, Carimi had knee problems in college. Then, in his second pro game, he dislocated his knee cap. That hurts just to write.
Meanwhile, Carimi, in case you missed the news, failed to report to the first day of organized team activities, or OTAs. He was the only eligible player not to show. That is not positive news, especially for a player who was pushed around like a rag doll at times last season. I’m guessing that his performance issues stem from instability in his knee, but for whatever reason, Carimi didn't have the power base needed to adequately hold off defensive linemen last season.
In short, Carimi was a push-over.
Unfortunately for The Jewish Hammer, he no longer has Angelo around. If he did, he probably would make the team, as GMs are often reluctant to cut their former first-round draft choices unless absolutely necessary because it makes them look bad. But Emery will cut him if he needs to, and at this point, I would say it’s almost a lock.
In addition to his poor play last season, the injuries and skipping OTAs, the Bears drafted Kyle Long in the first round and signed veteran guard Matt Slauson. Plus, the signing of Jermon Bushrod means that J'Marcus Webb likely has first dibs on the right tackle position.
Interestingly enough, there was another first-round OT who was drafted by the Bears in the same spot (29th overall) as Carimi back in 2002, who was considered a bust when he was released by the Bears. Marc Columbo couldn't stay on the field, but he got healthy for awhile and ended up playing well for the Cowboys. That is the sort of thing Emery has to evaluate when deciding whether to keep Carimi or cut him.
Now, in fairness to Carimi, it's not as if he simply decided not to show up at OTAs so he could lounge around the house and eat bon bons. Instead, he said he felt that training in Arizona would give him the best chance to get his knee healthy. Still, it seems awfully arrogant for a player on the bubble to not do everything the team wants him to do.
OTAs are not mandatory but players usually attend. Hey, maybe he wants to leave. If so, being 1,700 miles away may certainly help accelerate that for Carimi.
Hate to “burst your bubble,” Gabe, but your roster bubble may already be ready to burst.
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