Posted June 10, 2013

Gabe Carimi trade a case of Bears overreacting?

Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 29th overall pick in 2011, Gabe Carimi has 16 career starts. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

The 29th overall pick in 2011, Gabe Carimi has 16 career starts. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can chalk new offensive lineman Gabe Carimi up as a low-risk addition.

He’s cheap, with just his 2013 base salary of a little more than $1 million guaranteed to him (the Bears, who traded Carimi to Tampa Bay for a sixth-round pick, are responsible for the prorated remainder of his $3.6 million signing bonus). Carimi also provides 16 games worth of NFL starting experience to the Bucs’ line, which needed more depth. He might even wind up on the first team, either in place of projected starting right guard Davin Joseph, who missed all of 2012 with a knee injury; or at right tackle, where Demar Dotson played surprisingly well last season.

Long story short, there is enough of a potential upside here for the Bucs to take on Carimi. So why were the Bears in such a rush to get rid of him?

It’s certainly possible that Carimi put himself in the doghouse of Chicago’s new coaching staff by skipping OTAs to work out with ex-NFL player LeCharles Bentley. That move came shortly after rookie head coach Marc Trestman said at the Bears’ first voluntary minicamp (from which Carimi was absent) that the team was going to “focus on him competing at the guard position,” rather than Carimi’s former right tackle spot. (Emphasis on the word “voluntary” — Carimi was not required to attend any of the offseason workouts the Bears have had thus far.)

His absence gave off the impression, though, at least outwardly, that Carimi wanted out of Chicago. Whether or not Carimi actually forced the Bears’ hand here, the team’s front office clearly felt no extra loyalty to a player drafted by the old regime. (Carimi’s agent has not responded to SI.com’s request for comment on the situation.)

We often see a little house-cleaning done after coaching moves in the NFL. Maybe Carimi, be it from a talent perspective or on account of his attitude, did not fit Trestman’s vision for the Bears.

But this trade still does more to hurt Chicago on paper than it does to help. While an extra sixth-round pick may come in handy next draft, the Bears employed one of the NFL’s most inconsistent offensive lines in 2012 and further depleted the ranks by dealing Carimi, a young player capable of filling in at multiple positions.

Carimi’s loss puts more pressure on J’Marcus Webb to thrive with a move to right tackle and on Long to rapidly mature during the preseason. The options behind them are minimal at the moment — underwhelming tackles Jonathan Scott and Eben Britton are the fallbacks after Webb; James Brown and Edwin Williams, a pair of stopgap players, now round out the depth chart at guard.

That the Bears, with such a shaky collection of offensive linemen, deemed Carimi not worth the trouble raises a red flag.

It also begs the question: Was this really necessary? Was Carimi so massive a failure and such a potential problem in the locker room that Chicago had to dump him for next to nothing?

Even if the Bears answer was a resounding “yes,” it’s hard to shake the feeling that they bailed on Carimi before they had to do so.

32 comments
stujoe1966
stujoe1966

The Bears got Sedrick Ellis with the cap money they freed up. A draft pick and a Defensive Tackle they need for a generic O-Lineman who apparently didn't want to compete for his job and got his nose bent out of shape when they signed other linemen to do so. 

sculpt
sculpt

We don't know why Bears traded Carimi to Tampa Bay... so all we can do is speculate. He hasn't played well, and been oft injured. We know that.  I would have kept him, but I'm not an long time NFL Offensive Lineman expert like the Bears have with Aaron Kromer.  If Kromer's analysis is Carimi is not going to help this team, I'm comfortable with his expertise.  Who's opinion you going to respect over Kromer?

JohnnyNacho
JohnnyNacho

Carimi was simply the odd man out in Chicago.  The entire line needed to be overhauled for that sense of a fresh start so to speak.  Plus he was an Angelo pick so Emery didn't exactly lose any sleep shipping the guy.  All that being said, Carimi's future rests solely on the health of that knee.  He clearly hasn't been the same since he dislocated that knee cap.  He never quite looked right last year and everyone figured it had to be the knee.  If he's healthy then there's no reason to think he couldn't make the most out of journeyman offensive lineman but if that knee is chronic then he'll be out of the league w/in 2-3 years.  Good Luck Gabe!

LordBeefy
LordBeefy

It's convenient for the purpose of the article to leave out the fact that the Bears signed Bushrod  to play LT, picked up that big Hoss from the Jets who will most likely start at LG and drafted Mills who is a healthy combo lineman without a history of knee problems, along with a healthy Jake Long.  Also, it wasn't mentioned that Britton rated higher as far as his production last year than the oft injured Carimi and the article also doesn't mention Carimi's refusal to dedicate himself in the weight room.  If it wasn't for Gabe's relationship with Mike Tice, he never would have been drafted in the first round.  If i had to make a guess, I would say Carimi hangs on to a roster spot in Tampa as a backup.

6marK6
6marK6

A new coach has to establish himself and let everybody know who is in charge. I applaud the move. New regime!

John Daley ii
John Daley ii

Name the bears receivers, the bears game needs to go through run game, Cutler can only do so much but then Pitt had no o line and they won a Super Bowl. The difference... Need receivers and to stay healthy. I expected more from their rookie Jeffeies but then he got hurt... There is going to be turnover on the bears for a few years and this is the beginning. I still question the Lovie firing though

Fannish
Fannish

Kinda makes you remember Marc Colomdo. The Bears let that 1st round tackle go. (Injuries). He signed with the Cowboys and had 6 VERY good years starting there. Seeing Colombo playing well every time Dallas was on TV really hurt.  Unless Trestman and company are geniuses, here come more years of agony for Bears fans.

michael160
michael160

Okay guys calm down I am tired of people dissing these 10-6 bears because of management doing their jobs. Every bear fan and non beRS FANS know the bears weakness was offensive line. The line was not athletic nor was it strong. Hence is why Jay cutler was pressured more than any of the elit quaterbacks. If u look the line will have a total new look with the only person back at his same spot ( garza at center) Management did their job. You guys and the author must have forgot the 49ers game last year he was terrible and I dont care if he was a first rounder pick by angelo I might add. so give management a break people and we will see what the 10 -6 bears doi with an improved offensive line.

jbc123
jbc123

Turning a first rounder for a sixth round pick is a recipe for disaster, no matter who did the drafting. The pro leagues in all sports are full of .500 teams who have followed this route to disaster. Tom Brady was a sixth round pick, maybe  the Bears think they can pull a Belichick. Not. 

glend123
glend123

Good riddance!  My impression is he didn't want to compete with all the other o-lineman.....too much work.

Mike_H
Mike_H

Stupid move on their part. They should have at least waited to see if an opportunity arose to get more for him. I would bet they still could have shopped him for a 6th round pick 3 months from now, and there is always the possibility they could have gotten more from the right team in the right situation. At worse they would have been forced to cut him and walked away with nothing. To choose to not roll the dice at least, opting instead to walk away with next to nothing, is pretty short sighted in my opinion. Maybe they just might need another O-Lineman between now and September. Maybe Carimi could have show enough improvement to compete for a starting spot or be a solid back-up option at least. Too much unknown to just throw him to the curb for what will likely be nothing in return. Unless the Bears scouting gets a ton better, the only return they are looking at now for a 2011 first-rounder, is a special teams guy who will be on the bubble to make the team more likely than not. Huge waste by the Bears, yet again...

mutka13
mutka13

I don't think we can blame the offensive linemen, i think its more of a knock on Jay Cutler holding the ball too long, they blamed the offensive line in Denver and all other causes, Tebow did fine behind that line, Cutler isn't doing well they sunk too much into him blame all other inputs except for the QB

PWINGS
PWINGS

Maybe the Bears decided that when they sign JaMarcus Russell to play OT, they won't need Carimi.

Seriously though, they bail on a 1st Round pick after just one year, add $3.5M in "dead money" to their cap situation and weaken an already pitiful OL, all just to show Carimi who the boss is?  All this after passing on the best TE in the draft (which they desperately needed) to pick a player  who only started FOUR games @ a Division I school to play OG?  The author of this article obviously spent more time analyzing the decision than the Bears did. Da' Bears! Or is it Duhhhh Bears??

amolad
amolad

Now they just have to get rid of J'Marcus Webb to finally get most of the Jerry Angelo stink off of them.

alkohollick0101
alkohollick0101

Last year the Bears cut First-Round draft pick Chris Williams, and now they rid themselves of another First-Round draft pick in Gabe Cabrini. That doesn't say much for their scouting department. It takes a long time for a franchise to recover from wasted First-Round picks. I hope the Bears do well, but realisticlly I suspect the next two or three seasons won't be very good.

DavidAnderson1
DavidAnderson1

@JohnnyNacho Hell, the entire team is an Angelo pick, is Trestman going to trade Cutler and everyone else for 6th round picks?  If the bears have O-line problems this season (likely), and Carimi looks solid , he will not be looking so smart.

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

@jbc123 To be fair, Carimi was only worth about a sixth round pick.  Injured or not, he sucked it up his first few years in the NFL.  And, yeah, he'll likely go on to be a multi-time Pro Bowler for Tampa, but he clearly wanted out of Chicago, so if they kept him, he probably continues to underperform.

glend123
glend123

@Mike_H 

It would have helped if he showed up to the mini-camp so the NEW coaches could evaluated him.   I know he was AWFUL when he was in there.

Bearsfan66
Bearsfan66

@mutka13 Cutler held the ball long because that was the offense he was suppose to run. Tebow did what he did because he ran the ball so much. Cutler is the best Quarterback statistically the Bears have had - look it up - this year his 5th with the Bears he will have the most yardage for a Bears Qb.His completion % and Qb rating are better then the rest.


numcmusic
numcmusic

@PWINGS Agree. Early to bail on a first round pick especially in a position group that lacks talent and depth.

moe06281983
moe06281983

been a long time since the bears put together a good O line.   trading a former 1 for a 6 makes it look like the future will be more of the same

John Daley ii
John Daley ii

So he is going to write a book suck your way to success? Just playing bro :)

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

@BosephHeyden @jbc123 "his first few years in the NFL?"  Guy has only been in the league for 2 years and was injured for 14 out of 16 games in the first one.  So he has essentially only been in the league for 1 season.  That is very early to give up on a 1st round pick.

Mike_H
Mike_H

@glend123 @Mike_H I'm sure it would have helped, and yes, he did himself no favors by missing the OTA's, however, they were voluntary....I don't know if he was ever going to be the answer for RT or even RG, but I do know they didn't give him much of a chance to prove it either, and they certainly lowballed themselves getting only a 6th rounder for him. He was there for 2 seasons, injured for nearly all of one and still trying to overcome the injury and find his footing in the second. Should have at least seen what he could do with the pads on this season before letting him go, especially if they were willing to do so anyway for such a low price. 

PWINGS
PWINGS

@Josh4 @PWINGS @jbc123 My spelling teacher (a Pats' fan) has already wacked me on the hand with her ruler. It won't happen again!

The Bears making dumb trades, however, is a different ballgame.