The Chicago Bears have traded 2011 first-round pick Gabe Carimi to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
According to Jahns, the deal is contingent upon Carimi passing a physical with the Buccaneers, which could take place on Monday. Multiple reports indicate that the Bears will receive a sixth-round pick in return for Carimi.
Carimi was selected with the No. 29 pick in the 2011 NFL draft and was signed to a four-year contract worth $7,056,046, of which $5,343,859 was guaranteed. A knee injury limited Carimi to just two games as a rookie, but the 6-foot-7, 314-pound Carimi started 14 of 16 games, seeing time at both right tackle and right guard.
On the opening days of free agency, the Bears signed two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod to five-year, $36.965 million contract, a move that will push J'Marcus Webb to right tackle. The Bears considered moving Carimi to guard on a full-time basis, but the former Wisconsin standout was a no-show at the voluntary OTAs, opting instead to work out on his own in Arizona.
Carimi was to be welcomed back "with open arms", GM Phil Emery said in a recent interview on SiriusXM radio.
"This is a voluntary situation and every player has to make his own decisions," Emery said. "Gabe has made a decision that he wants to stay in Arizona and train, and we respect that. And he'll be welcomed with open arms when he comes back."
In Tampa, Carimi will likely compete with Demar Dotson for the starting right tackle position and improves the Buccaneers' overall depth at the tackle position. Behind Dotson and starting left tackle Donald Penn, the Buccaneers have Mike Remmers, who spent last season on their practice squad, and a group of undrafted free agents on the tackle depth chart.
Carimi has two seasons remaining on his rookie contract and has a fully guaranteed base salary of $1,016,458 in 2013. Next season, Carimi has a roster bonus of $592,187 due on the third day of the league year, a non-guaranteed base salary of $645,000 and a $100,000 workout bonus.