Chicago Sun-Times

Bears were one of 10 teams pursuing Omiyale

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Mark Slough knew he would have interest in Frank Omiyale but he didn't expect his phone to go off like it did when free agency began late Thursday night.

The Bears landed the versatile offensive lineman after 10 teams expressed varying degrees of interest in signing the 26-year-old, including the Carolina Panthers, who he spent the last two seasons with.

"Chicago is very fortunate,'' said Slough, Omiyale's agent. ``There were other teams that were extra high on him. This is really an incredible story.''

Omiyale's story began in Week 5 when he filled in for Jordan Gross at left tackle. The Pro Bowl performer was out with a concussion. Omiyale helped open up some big running lanes in a 34-0 shutout of the Kansas City Chiefs. Then, when Carolina played the New York Giants in a high-profile Week 16 meeting, Omiyale played the entire second half at left tackle as Panthers lost Gross and right tackle Jeff Otah. Again, he played well. But other than preseason action, the fifth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 didn't have any action for teams to judge.

``He looked like an NFL left tackle should look,'' Slough said. ``That is what set him on this path. A lot of people are going to say free agency and Frank Omiyale is one of the first persons to sign? The level of interest in him though is indicative of what kind of players teams believe he will be. The level of interest speaks volumes. People knew.''

Omiyale's deal is worth between $11.5 million and $14 million, and Slough said the maximum value is easily attainable with play-time incentives. He's a big-legged guy who is strong and has good reach.

Omiyale can also play guard but right now he likely projects as the right tackle, at least until the Bears better define their line in the draft. This casts into doubt whether or not the club will work to re-sign veteran John St. Clair. He is seeking a starting opportunity and it's clear the Bears' first target was Omiyale as there was no movement toward a deal with St. Clair.

Omiyale is on his way to town to complete a physical.

Stay tuned as the first day of free agency continues.

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20 Comments

Well, at least this is a modest move that is a better option then putting all your hopes in drafted rookie. With Tait retiring and St.Cliare wanting a starters job and plenty more money this seems to be a solid move.

Hopefully Omiyale can step in and fill the void at RT. This adds depth to the O-line and him being only 27 years old also allows the O-line to continue to get younger.

Perhaps Angelo has another trick up his sleeve before the draft and can make a move for Stacey Andrews or Kalif Barnes. Omiyale could move inside or slide to LT if Williams falls flat on his face. Either way, Angelo has quietly made the O-line core younger by virtue of drafting Williams, signing Omiyale, trading for Dan Buenning last season and the nice season logged in by 3'rd year pro Josh Beekman.....

Olin Kruetz or Roberto Garza could be shown the door before long and the O-line would be completely rebuilt by 2010.

I still think Angelo drafts an OT before rounds 1 or 2....

Jerry, see if you can add some depth at safety say by inking former Browns FS Sean Jones, add a nice WR compliment in Nate Washington or Bryant Johnson and while your at it, see if Rey Lewis is intersted in coming to Chicago. Sign him to play middle, move Uralcher to the Sam and your starting LB core could feature (3) perrennial probowlers for a few more seasons !!!!

That may be a pipe dream but we definetly should go after Sean Jones and either Johnson or Washington....

Go Bears !!

I am glad we landed him, but everyone knows me and I am still worried about depth at the Tackle position, have not heard about interest in St. Clair but that will be a big reason on him coming back or not, I
don't have a problem resigning St. Clair. and of course his (Omiyale)agent is going to say the greatest things lol

I was leaning against Brooks (age) but the more I read the more I like it as our D is in serious need of leadership with Brown gone, and anyone (including Lovie/Rod) know that man brings it. Someone to yell at the other D players to motivate them as they looked lost last year alot of the time.
yes this is a great time of year! NFL Free Agency is a nice time between the draft and training camp whoohooo

OK, now I am confused....Jerry went after a hotly pursued free agent??? Up is down, left is right, dogs and cats living together....Where am I??

In all seriousness, this could turn out to be a nice signing. We just reduced the average age of our Offensive tackles from about 35 to about 25, which is a good thing for our team. I did not realize he played against the Giants, but it seems he has all the traits needed to be a decent tackle. According to Scouts Inc:

Omiyale is a good-sized lineman with long arms. He is athletic, agile and runs easily. He is a decent knee-bender who can roll his hips to unload and leverage run blocks. He has a quick kick step to get out and pick up the speed edge-rusher. He shows above-average lateral range in pass protection. He is a good backup who can step in at either tackle spot and fill in for a game or two.

While that certainly is not a glowing endorsement for a future starter at RT, he has potential to be good enough to carry us through this year, and develop into a solid player.

randy and I have both been pushing for O-line help, and this is a good start. Now a pass-rushing defensive end who is unstoppable could solidify the defense, so that even Urlacher's blown coverages would not matter so much. Who knows? Maybe the offense getting back on the field faster would even help Orton actually improve with more game time practice. No, probably not. At least Forte would get more carries and Wolfe might get in once in a while.

Oh ...I real excited. We paid 11 million for a player that started one (1) game in 4 years.
He must be the answer to the Bears problems. Must be big news.
NFL.com didn't even waste their web page to make that announcement.
Maybe it got lost in the shuffle....the angelo shuffle that is.

Great move..big and young. Kruetz will help him be great!!.....Now, let's go after a new starting QB!!!!..Now that the Vikings made their move, we have the worst QB in the NFC north!!! This new lineman has now got it made!!..He won't have to play much with Orton leading us....One play, two play, three play, Punt!!..One play, two play, three play, Punt!! All game long!!!!!

Man if all you constantly have to say is Orton sucks save it. We are tired of hearing it from morons like you. If you so high on the Vikings go root for them loser.

Great move.....let's get some playmakers now!!!!.....QB, WR....

Neckbeard how many times are you going to change your name...
1. Tripper, 2. NBS is your short version, now 3. OrtonIsHorrible.

Stop with all the name changes and stay 1 guy. We all know its you. Also, we all know you have a secret man crush on Orton. Just admit it finally and STICK with 1 NAME.

GO BEARS. Really like this signing. Good start JA.

As fans, its hard for us to really judge offensive linemen with any degree of accuracy by what we see in quick glimpses on TV. The fact the Bears weren't the only team that had Omiyale on their radar proves Omiyale could be legit. The Bears and other teams have access to scouting tape on Omiyale, they obviously saw something to warrant this much interest. Omiyale was a 5th round draft pick, so he probably wasn't ready to start his first 2 or 3 seasons in the league, some linemen take time to develop, and thats what Omiyale did. This season in Carolina he came in for 2 games and played left tackle, and did a good job, even showing the ability to run block. Frank Omiyale is now a young NFL ready offensive lineman, this is probably why so many teams were after his services, young NFL ready tackles are hard to come by. This point in Omiyale's career is the perfect time to sign a lineman, he's not to young, and he's not an 8 year vet who would only be a stop gap. There are some nice rookies coming out this year, but Omiyale is probably a safer bet to be ready to come in and start, I like the move GO BEARS!!

Well we all knew we needed a lineman, there are other better known names out there available like Stinchcomb, but this guys younger looks like a road grader also, said he was actually playing in the game both Panther backs gained 100 yds last season....this gives us flexibility at 18 now, if Buening pans out along with Beekman and Williams we have gotten younger on the line quick, if Hiestand =can get these guys to play well our offense can improve.... but I still feel we need to bring in one more lineman, just in case we missed on this one.....

OrtonsHorrible if you would have been paying attention you would have seen two Ortons one with a good ankle and one with a bad ankle and we saw a Grossman with no clue. Sir there are no decent QB's out there better than the one we have and given someone to throw to and somone to block for him might be pretty good. Your other option is to go find another team and blog to haunt.

If he is just a backup LT that is fine, he is not a starter and he has proved that in Atlanta and Carolina. He is also not a RT, he is not much of a run blocker either. Not a bad backup for LG or LT but if they try and start him on the right side there in trouble. He is not a starter. He may be insurance for Chris Williams back, thzt makes the most sense.

Just like to point out that getting Carolina cast off's that did little to help that make the playoff's, is not going to help the Bears make the Playoff's. By the way Olin is not a Tackle and I doubt he teaches the Tackles how to play, thats usually the job of the line coach and other tackles, maybe Williams can teach him how to play in the NFL. Oh wait never mind.

Also I would like to know what teams were interested in him, any agent can say ten teams called him. I don't think St. Clair is comming back, by the wat Even St. Clair was rated above this guy at LT and he was the third worst LT in football last year.

Deputy......Dude we have a better QB already on our roster..Caleb Hanie!!!....Until he starts, we will be an average team no matter what free agent we pick up........Tomk4054..How dare you think I'm someone I'm not, just because I agree 100% with NBS, I'm not him!!! and who the heck is Tripper???

The best player on the Bears' roster is the backup QB!!!..The sooner Caleb Hanie is allowed to play, the better the Bears will be. I'm glad Rex is gone...now let's get rid of Orton!!!!!!

Great move....our line has a lot more depth now.This will take the pressure off the bear signing st.clair, now they can let him sit in free agency until he takes the vet minimum.Everybodys high on signing St.Clair when the fact of the matter is our line wasnt that good last year.Yes, hes a good lineman but not great we need a younger talent to improve (like Omiyale).WHEN SOME TYPE OF UPGRADE!!!

I think its safe to say the bears are going to go WR in the draft.We can pick up more depth on the OL in later rounds of the draft (3,4...). DE will probably be the 2nd choice in the draft.I think we will look at free safety in free agency, but if nothings there expect them to roll with Sheltz...dont forget Nate did play there for a little while before he first took the starting CB spot from Azumah.

STOP SAYING MOVE TILLMAN TO FREE SAFETY...DID YOU FORGET THAT NATHAN VASHER WAS A SUCCESSFUL FS BEFORE THEY MOVED HIM TO CORNER.I THINK WE CAN MOVE GRAPHM TO CB AND NATE TO FS.NOW THE SECONDARY IS LOOKING BETTER

alright!!!! ur not him!!1! u just exclamation like him!!!! thats all!!!!
lol

Umm you can't move Graham from Safety to Corner because he hasn't played safety, he played corner last year for the Bears NOT safety, C O R N E R.

Vasher was never a FS, he was SS for the Longhorns 2001, and never played safety for the Bears. OMG the Bears drafted a DB who could be a SS, what a shock another SS. Not ot mention if he can't stay healthy at Corner, I really don't want to try him at Safety.

Oh by the way Angelo just said he wants to try Oimyale at Guard not tackle, so I guess I called that one, ring it up. You can throw that one in with the Hayensworth signing at Washington I called that last week. I also think Washington will trade for Peppers.

Angelo said he was not happy with the guard play last year, I can't see how that is possible Kevin and several other people told me Garza and Beekman were the best guards ever. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, None of you ever learn. Ring up number 3 for the big C. You know it's not that I am always right, cause I am not, I am just almost always right which i can live with.

Omiyale at RT? Please, only in an emergency. Whats really sad is that Omiyale may not be good enough to beat either guy out. Oh this is co very Jerry.

You must remember that Jerry is the one saying these players will play at certain positions, last I checked he was not the Coach and he and Lovie have been saying different things about the players for 2 weeks. Jerry can't draft offense but he knows what position to pigeon hole them into? Whats wrong with that picture?
I like Beekmans play last year for a first year he did pretty good, now cmon Creighton you don't like Jerry's drafting skills but you like his Coaching abilities? lol
Angelo seems to be talking alot about the players lately, wonder whats up with that? Then Lovie has to come in and correct him? Some real weird stuff there.
Jerry is really working it huh?

So if Omiyale is a potential left guard, then it accomplishes what I thought we needed to do in one sense...Moving Beekman to the right side and getting rid of Garza. Garza has no anchor in the run or pass game, and should not be a professional starter....Beekman can still get better.

I think our best options at guard are still Buenning and Beekman, and we should leave Omiyale where he belongs. He has a good kick slide for speed rushers, so let's put him inside where he can't use it? Yet another case of square peg, round hole....

We continually fail in free agency because we believe we know better than any other team, and we know where someone fits. Occasionally, we get one right. But most of the time, we are way off, and the player suffers through a couple of years with us, and ends up out of the league. We haven't even proven we can develop guys at the positions they are supposed to play, but now the amazing Harry Hiestand can turn a left tackle backup into a guard in 4 months?

I just don't get it...If we wanted a guard, we should have signed a guard. We know that developing players is a weakness of this staff, but we continue to expose it and force it into the open by picking up guys who need to be developed....Brilliant...

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 27, 2009 10:10 AM.

Bears strike in free agency signing OL Omiyale was the previous entry in this blog.

Who's your receiver? Agent says Bears not in play for Houshmandzadeh is the next entry in this blog.

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