Carimi absence likely helping Bears with one roster call

Carimi absence likely helping Bears with one roster call

May 14, 2013, 3:00 pm

Gabe Carimi stayed away from Bears organized team activities for the second straight day. In the process, he is arguably making a roster decision for the Bears.

[MORE: Bears QB depth chart firming up in OTAs]

It may not be a decision that ultimately works to his advantage.

Carimi is working out and rehabbing his surgically repaired knee, as first reported by ESPNChicago.com. What he is not doing, however, is working with a new coaching staff, a new offense and more than a few new teammates. Missing camp time is rarely a good thing and with a new staff, Carimi is making less than a strong first impression.

“That’s going to be tough,” said running back Matt Forte. “I don’t play that position but I think it’s pretty important to be here right now with all the new faces around and the new offense. In the meetings, we’re not going over the same stuff. We’re going over new stuff every day, learning new stuff to get ready for training camp.”

At this point, Carimi may be a longshot to be in training camp. He was expected to work at guard, competing for a starting job, which changed substantially when the Bears signed Matt Slauson and drafted Kyle Long this offseason.

[RELATED: Long, Mills give versatile look to 2013 OL draft class]

The question now is what happens next.

Bad message

Carimi may in fact be hoping that Bears cut or trade him. He is competing with an undrafted free agent (James Brown) and possibly a 2013 fifth-round draft choice (Jordan Mills) for a roster spot. Brown worked at right guard with the first unit, with Long being unavailable until his college class finishes finals.

But not every team is favorably inclined toward players who hold out or fail to show up for team programs.

In 2005, the Bears were prepared to honor the wishes of Thomas Jones and trade him after drafting Cedric Benson. A deal was in place with one AFC contender.

But Jones switched agents and abruptly refused to report to the team’s offseason program. The general manager on the other end of the deal equally abruptly announced "no-thank-you" for a player who was selective in participation.

[RELATED: NFL dreams live on for four Bears 'tryouts']

Cutting Carimi is an option, and the Bears indeed released Chris Williams last October. Neither the new coaching staff nor personnel department has any vested interest in the previous regime’s failed No. 1 picks on the offensive line.

Carimi then would have the option of signing with any team, and typically there will have been more than one team interested in Carimi when he came into the draft in 2011 and proclaimed himself the best tackle in the draft.