Gabe Carimi was going to report to the mandatory minicamp of the Bears this week. He will still be reporting, just not to the Bears.
The 2011 No. 1 pick was dealt by the Bears to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday night, giving the one-time starter effectively a do-over in a career that began with promise and a starting job as a rookie but dissolved into disarray last year with his being demoted and ultimately shunted to guard looking for somewhere to fit.
The deal sends away the last of first-round draft choices made by former general manager Jerry Angelo and college scouting director Greg Gabriel. The Bears released 2008 No. 1 pick and tackle-turned-guard Chris Williams last Oct. 16 and have only one offensive lineman – J’Marcus Webb, 7th round, 2010 – drafted by the team prior to this year’s class, which includes Kyle Long and Jordan Mills.
Carimi, beset by a season-ending knee injury in his second NFL game and hampered by it last season, must pass a Buccaneers physical for the deal to close. The trade was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. Adam Shefter of ESPN reports that the Bears will receive a sixth-round pick for Carimi.
Transactions like this typically occur when the player has a believer on the acquiring team. Tampa Bay offensive line coach Bob Bostad was on the Wisconsin coaching staff when Carimi played for the Badgers. Bostad coached tight ends, offensive line and the running game at Wisconsin before going to Tampa Bay prior to the 2012 season.
Carimi does not move into an automatic starting job with Tampa Bay. But he will have a significantly better chance at a job than he had in Chicago.
The former first-rounder was in some roster jeopardy with the Bears. He was no longer in the tackle competition, with Jermon Bushrod set at left tackle and Webb competing for the right-tackle job with Jonathan Scott.
Guard was an offseason priority, with Carimi likely an odd man out. The Bears signing former New York Jet Matt Slauson as the starter at left guard, using their No. 1 pick on Long as the projected right guard, and drafting Jordan Mills in the fifth round in addition to have James Brown returning.