The Chicago Bears did about the only thing they could do with the lone player on the roster that had not bought into new coach Marc Trestman and his staff. They shipped him out.
Two days before the team will start a mandatory veteran minicamp, offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, the club’s first-round draft pick in 2011, was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bears received a sixth-round draft pick in return.
Carimi suffered a serious knee injury in Week 2 of his 2011 rookie season and was never the same last season when he started 10 games at right tackle before being benched. He quickly resurfaced at right guard and played right tackle again as the team’s line was unsettled. But the Bears and general manager Phil Emery made a host of moves this offseason that made it clear Carimi’s position was hardly secure.
The Bears paid big money for left tackle Jermon Bushrod, used a first-round draft pick on guard Kyle Long and brought in journeymen linemen Matt Slauson and Eben Britton. Jonathan Scott was re-signed to compete at right tackle and Jordan Mills, a right tackle who can play inside, was drafted in the fifth round.
With Carimi not present for the voluntary offseason program, it was easy for Trestman & Co. to move on without him. It’s probably best for Carimi too as he’s found a new team that is thin on depth at tackle. If Carimi can return to form perhaps he could push Demar Dotson for the starting right tackle job.
“He hasn't been healthy since he blew his knee out,” former Bears offensive coordinator/line coach Mike Tice told the Chicago Tribune. “He needs to get his legs underneath him and he hasn't had that since the (injury). I felt bad for him. He cares.”