The depth at the defensive tackle position was considered a concern coming into training camp for the Bears, and general Phil Emery waited no longer than the middle of the first practice to do something about it (or, at least that's when the move was officially announced).
The Bears and Buccaneers have each confirmed that the teams agreed to a trade that sends defensive tackle Brian Price to the Bears, and an undisclosed 2013 draft pick to the Buccaneers. ESPN's Adam Schefter is hearing that the draft pick is a seventh-rounder.
Price, 23, was a second-round pick (35th overall selection) by the Bucs in the 2010 draft, and played collegiately at UCLA. The 6'1", 303-pounder started 14 games for Tampa Bay last season, and had 24 tackles and 3 sacks.
It's been a very difficult offseason for Price, as his 30-year-old sister was killed in a car accident in May, and he was hospitalized for exhaustion and grief following that tragedy.
And in June, Price reportedly punched Bucs teammate (and 2012 first-round pick) Mark Barron in the face during a team meeting. Bucs coach Greg Schiano didn't think there would be an lingering issues from the incident, but it's certainly possible he was just saying that to the media to prevent any drama heading into camp. If the Bears are only giving the Bucs a seventh-round pick for a guy that was drafted 35th overall just two years ago and has plenty of upside, you'd have to think the incident played a large part in the trade.
Price also has dealt with hamstring issues that required two complicated surgeries in the past, but it's believed he's fully recovered and will pass the physical, which is of course necessary to make this trade 100% official.
Assuming Price passes the physical, these are the Bears' defensive tackles currently on the roster: Henry Melton, Matt Toeaina, Stephen Paea, Nate Collins, John McCargo, DeMario Pressley, Jordan Miller, Ronnie Cameron, and Brian Price.
Melton, Toeaina, Paea, and Price appear to be the only locks to make the roster (and Collins is ineligible to even play week one, after being suspended last week for a marijuana arrest in February as a member of the Jaguars). We know Melton will be starting, and even with Price's talent and upside, it's unlikely he beats out Toeaina or Paea for a starting job entering the season. Still, it'll make for a nice competition battle in camp that should bring out the best effort from those players, and adds some much-needed depth to the defensive tackle position.
It's hard not to like this move from Phil Emery, and that's something we've been able to say a lot this offseason.
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