Chicago Sun-Times

After near-miss on Mincey, Bears re-sign Israel Idonije

| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks

After missing out on free agent defensive end Jeremy Mincey, the Bears re-signed defensive end Israel Idonije to a one-year contract late Thursday. But since it was clear the Bears were seeking an upgrade at the position, the focus of their search for a defensive end now turns to the NFL draft, where Illinois' Whitney Mercilus is expected to be available if the Bears' maintain their 19th pick in the first round.

Idonije, 31, has played in 118 games over the past eight years with the Bears and has started the last two seasons at defensive end opposite Julius Peppers. While he has been an effective overall player in that role, his sack total dropped from eight in 2010 to five in 2011.

The Bears courted Mincey and thought they had him until Mincey re-signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars -- a four-year, $20 million deal with $9 million guaranteed.

''It was a good fit [with the Bears],'' Mincey told reporters. ''Who wouldn't want to play beside Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher? They're a first-class organization. They do things right. They got a lot of good pieces to make it happen.''

So why didn't he sign with the Bears?

''The way I see it, why become part of a legacy when you can build your own?'' Mincey said. ''That was the line that stuck in my head throughout the whole process, and that was one of the key factors for me choosing Jacksonville.''

It will be interesting to see if that comes to fruition or if the Jaguars sold him a bill of goods. Mincey, 28, appears to be much closer to becoming the next Israel Idonije than the next Julius Peppers. Like Idonije he had a humble start in the NFL -- a sixth-round pick by the New England Patriots who was cut twice, was acquired by the Jaguars off the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad and only recently became an impact player. He had eight sacks for the Jaguars last season, the same as Idonije had in 2010.

Idonije has value to the Bears as a solid all-around player who blocks kicks and is a steadying influence in the locker room. But the Bears' interest in Mincey tipped their hand that they are looking for a better player opposite Peppers. The draft is the next opportunity to see an upgrade.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/46136

3 Comments

If nothing else, this guarantees that our starting DE combo doesn't get worse. It could still get better, and bringing in a pass rush specialist (like Mark Anderson in 2006) might be the right way to go as far as a young player. I wonder whether we could use players like Wootton and Izzy, and approach a team converting to a 3-4, and see if we can pull a 4-3 DE in exchange for either of them, since they would have a fish out of water like we do. Both of them are not traditional pass rushers in the 4-3 mold, but are decent at the point of attack, and have some movement skills as rushers. They also have the length and overall size to be decent in a 3-4. Both would have to put on weight, but both are capable of doing it. Wootton was 280 coming out, and Izzy has been 300+ and still moved well when he played DT.

For a while Angelo was drafting players that were a better fit in a 3-4 than a 4-3, thinking he could get coaching to bridge the gap. Melton, Wootton, and Gilbert were all mis-cast in the Bears defense coming out, and Izzy has never been an ideal fit in a 4-3, but he works so hard that he makes up for the lack of burst. Melton is fitting better as a 4-3 DT, but he had to put on 30 pounds rather than stay as an OLB in a 3-4.

The Colts are the only team I can think of right now that are switching to a 3-4, but there are teams who are recent converts that may still have a few bad fits. Maybe a late round pick or mis-cast player could change hands for Izzy, whereas Wootton would likely not garner anything in return.

I do like his capability of blocking kicks, as between he and Peppers, I think that is 2 of the top 5 active kick blockers in the league. But that is maybe one or two kicks a year for the team, unless we have a dynamic year? We won't lose a ton if we went another direction.

Another solid move by Emery, ensuring we can at least field a competent team if we have to line up with what we have. But we are still working towards a competitive team. Izzy and Jennings are hopefully only placeholders until we upgrade in the draft, but they aren't awful fallback options.

IIf the Bears draft a defensive end in the 1st round they should take Chandler jones It would look like a reach but he`ll turn out to be the best Def end in the draft.

Yes why would you want to become part of one of the most historic franchises in nfl history? A team that has the NFC championship trophy named after it's founder. Oh no, oh no, oh no, not when you can be part of the third most popular team in Florida who's greatest desires are to wear ugly uniforms and move to a different state.

I am gald he is not a Bear, he is clearly a "ritard." Oh boy it's gonna be a banner year for the Jags as the reach for that elusive 6th win. Enjoy your life in that hole. You and Tony Boselli can go in on a Subway together and become the big restraunteurs around town. "Would you like cheese on that?" "Toasted?"

Quick what do you call a Jacksonville dynasty? A meth lab that doesn't get busted.

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on March 16, 2012 7:42 AM.

Pro Bowl DE Mario Williams to sign with Bills was the previous entry in this blog.

Are the Bears on Kamerion Wimbley Watch? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.