DE McBride signing sends curious signals

DE McBride signing sends curious signals
March 20, 2013, 2:15 pm
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The Bears signed veteran defensive end Turk McBride to a one-year contract on Wednesday. What that portends for a couple of other players is where it becomes intriguing.

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McBride, 6-2, 278, is a hand-on-the-ground pass rusher, and a one-year deal does not make a player a roster lock. McBride was a second-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 and spent two seasons with the Chiefs, followed by 2009-2010 with the Detroit Lions and 2011-2012 with the New Orleans Saints.
 
McBride has started 24 of 66 career games, with 119 tackles, 9.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.
 
What the McBride signing points to with regard to Israel Idonije and Shea McClellin will play out through this offseason.

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The Bears have stated their hope to re-sign Idonije, one of the team’s highest-graded defensive linemen last season despite losing his starting job to Corey Wootton. Idonije played more snaps (726) than any lineman other than Julius Peppers (797) in part because of his versatility at both end and tackle.
 
Coaches also have said they have not ruled out a linebacker or hybrid role for McClellin, who brings a similar versatility and played in a variety of roles even as a rookie. McBride at end gives the Bears more depth at that position currently than at linebacker.

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The Bears’ depth chart at end now lists Peppers, Wootton and McBride, with McClellin an option. Tackle is similarly light with starters Henry Melton and Stephen Paea plus Nick Collins.