Bears interested in Idonije

DE Israel Idonije (Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY)

The Chicago Bears on Tuesday will host free-agent defensive end Israel Idonije, who spent last season in Detroit after nine seasons in the Windy City.

The Chicago Bears have scheduled a visit with free-agent defensive end Israel Idonije tomorrow.

Idonije played for the Detroit Lions last year on a one-year contract. The 33-year-old played 15 games, picking up 11 total tackles and 0.5 sacks.

From 2004-2012, Idonije was a defensive lineman for the Bears. He started his final three years in Chicago, accumulating 20.5 sacks and five forced fumbles during that span.

Idonije is clearly in the twilight of his career but he still has value as a run stopper. The Bears last week signed two young bookend defenders in Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, as well as free-agent Trevor Scott before the start of free agency. The team also has defensive ends Cheta Ozougwu, Austen Lane, Tracy Robertson, David Bass and Cornelius Washington on the current roster.

It's a packed house at the position, and could become more crowded if GM Phil Emery selects an edge rusher in this year's draft, so the Idonije visit is a bit curious.

Still, he's an outstanding locker room presence and a player who can help boost Chicago's league-worst run defense. He'll also come at a veteran minimum contract, making him even more attractive to a cash-strapped team like the Bears.


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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