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.

Contributing Sources: Chicago Tribune, ESPN Chicago

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Reliable Chicago Tribune Bears writer Vaughn McClure is hearing from a source that the Bears are placing wide receiver Johnny Knox on the active PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start training camp:

This move was expected as Knox recovers from back surgery for the fractured vertebrae he suffered in December against the Seahawks.

Under the active PUP list, Knox can be activated at any point before the regular season begins. He's allowed to still be in team meetings, rehab, run, lift weights, etc., but can't participate in team practices.

If he begins the regular season on the PUP list, he couldn't be activated until a window between weeks 6-9 of the season.

Knox told the Tribune's Brad Biggs, "There’s really no timetable. We’re all taking our time. They’re not rushing me, I’m not rushing myself. This was a serious injury. Right now I’m setting small goals, taking a little bit at a time. At first I knew it was going to be hard to run. But now I’m running better than I thought I would. I’m getting my weight back a little, doing heavier weights. So doing good."

UPDATE: The Bears have officially placed Knox on the active PUP list (Source: Zach Zaidman).

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The Bears and Matt Forte had until 4 PM ET on Monday to reach an agreement on a new contract for the 26-year-old running back, or else he'd play the 2012 season under the franchise tender ($7.749 million).

Well, just a few hours before the deadline, the two sides were indeed able to reach a long-term deal.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bears and Forte agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract (no word yet on how much of the money will be guaranteed):
The soap opera is finally over! Well done, Phil Emery.

We'll be sure to provide more details (such as the Bears confirming the deal, and the guaranteed money involved) as they become available.

UPDATE: According to the Chicago Sun-Times' Sean Jensen, Forte will receive over $18 million in guaranteed money:

And as the Chicago Tribune's Vaughn McClure points out, Forte and his agent initially sought $20 million in guarantees, while the Bears first offered $15 million in guarantees:
UPDATE: It's official!

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CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported on Thursday night that the Bears and Matt Forte are making "considerable progress" in regards to their talks about getting a contract extension done (specifically a five-year deal):

League sources said there has been considerable progress between the Bears and Matt Forte as well. There are still issues to hash out regarding the average per year on the deal over the first three years, and how it could compare to say Marshawn Lynch's new deal, but there has been movement on what the deal might look like over five years. While this prognosis looks promising, sources said there is still a stalemate between Baltimore and its star runner, Ray Rice. It would take a major reversal over the weekend to get this kick-started.
The two sides have until Monday's 4 PM ET deadline to reach a multi-year deal, otherwise Forte will play the 2012 season under the franchise tender (in which he'll make $7.749 million). And if that's the case, while Forte may sit out some of training camp, he recently said that he won't sit out any regular season games (via ESPN Chicago):

"I don't think I really have a choice, do I?" he said. "Yeah, I'll be here."
Hopefully the two sides can come to an agreement, but at reasonable terms of course. Regardless, #22 will be playing in a Bears uniform come September 9th, and he'll be damn productive.

UPDATE: ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted literally two minutes before I published this post that he met with Forte today (their interview will apparently be on SportsCenter), and Forte is optimistic a deal will get done:


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