The Bears offensive line has been the focus of the last few days of camp, most notably the departure of Olin Kreutz. Not surprising since the O-line was the biggest area of concern heading into camp after a horrible 2010 campaign, giving up a combined 56 sacks.
One of the other storylines for the Bears has been the array of reclamation projects that they’ve taken on in Free Agency ranging for Vernon Gholston and Amobi Okoye on defense to Roy Williams on offense. Could the Bears take their “fresh start” campaign to try to help plug a huge hole on the offensive line? The Vikings released OT Bryant McKinnie on Tuesday. Could the former Pro Bowl tackle, another high first round draft choice, be the Bears’ next project?
McKinnie was drafted by the Vikings with the 7th overall pick in the 2002 draft. He’s a monster listed at 6-8, 335. There’s a connection to Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice, who coached the Vikings from 2002 – 2005.
He reported to Vikings camp way out of shape, leading them to put him on the non-football injury list at the start of camp and eventually leading to the scrap heap. Could Mike Tice round him into shape? Could the Bears take another flyer on another teams’ trash? Could they stash him on the PUP list or on injured reserve with a mysterious foot injury as insurance in case Gabe Carimi or J’Marcus Webb don’t pan out? Would it make sense to bring him in to slide inside to guard?
The way this Free Agency season has gone for the Bears, don’t dismiss it too quickly. They’re dumpster diving and this big fella is at the bottom of the dumpster scrounging for leftovers.