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Bears bring back Idonije, part with Bennett

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The Chicago Bears agreed to terms with defensive lineman Israel Idonije on a one-year deal and terminated the contract of veteran wide receiver Earl Bennett on Tuesday.

The team also reached agreements with safeties Danny McCray and Craig Steltz on one-year contracts.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Idonije returns to the Bears -- where he spent nine seasons (2004-12) -- after one year in Detroit (2013). Idonije was used sparingly with the Lions, finishing the season with just seven total tackles and half a sack.

For his NFL career, Idonije has started 50 of 149 games played (starting at both defensive end and defensive tackle), registering 273 tackles, 29 sacks, 40 tackles for losses, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He has added 36 special teams tackles and eight blocked kicks.

Over the last four seasons (2010-13), including three with the Bears (2010-12), Idonije has recorded 21 sacks, 33 tackles for losses, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Idonije was the Chicago Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2009 and was the Bears' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee in 2009 and 2010, including being one of three finalists for the league award in 2010.

After falling to the fifth option in the passing attack, Bennett managed just 243 receiving yards on 32 catches primarily out of the slot last season.

Cutting Bennett created $2.45 million in salary-cap space for the Bears, according to Pro Football Talk. Bennett was due nearly $2.5 million this season.

McCray played in 15 games last season for the Dallas Cowboys last season and had eight tackles on defense and eight on special teams. In 60 career games with the Cowboys, McCray compiled 104 tackles, one sack, seven pass deflections, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

Steltz, a fourth-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Bears, has 97 tackles on defense and 58 on special teams, one sack, two pass deflections, one interception and three forced fumbles in six years in the NFL.

Last season, Steltz totaled 14 tackles on defense, 14 on special teams and one pass breakup. He played in all 16 regular-season games and started one.
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