Report: Chicago Bears, DE Israel Idonije agree to one-year contract

Tuesday March 18th, 2014

Israel Idonije spent nine seasons with the Bears before joining the Lions last year. DE Israel Idonije spent nine seasons with the Bears before joining the Lions last year. (Scott Boehm/AP)

The Chicago Bears continued to overhaul their defensive front by adding a familiar face Tuesday. The Bears have agreed to a one-year deal with defensive lineman Israel Idonije, according to Pro Football Talk.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

2014 NFL Free Agent Tracker: Charting every signing, grades

Idonije is a name that should be recognizable to the Bears fan base because he spent a decade with the team before leaving for the NFC North rival Detroit Lions last season. While with the Lions, Idonije recorded 11 tackles and half a sack.

The former University of Manitoba standout originally joined the Bears' roster in 2004 after being released from the Cleveland Browns midway through the season. Idonije signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent and eventually joined the team's practice squad before getting cut.

Because of his ability to play both defensive end and defensive tackle, Idonije is a valuable asset for the Bears -- especially after the team released Julius Peppers and appear poised to lose Henry Melton, too -- as they look to rebuild their struggling defensive line. Idonije will join 2014 free agent signees Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, who both play defensive end.

FARRAR: Who are the best remaining defensive free agents?
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.