Germain Ifedi, Tyler Bray Agree to 1-Year Deals with Bears

Gene Chamberlain

At least Germain Ifedi won't have to worry about blocking Khalil Mack again. 

Ifedi started at tackle for the Seattle Seahawks last year and in several other seasons, but the numbers say he might be better suited to play guard.

After agreeing to terms with the Bears, the 6-foot-5, 325-pounder is trying to resurrect his career regardless of where he lines up.

According to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport Wednesday, the Bears signed the 25-year-old lineman.to a one-year contract.

Last year the Bears had undrafted guard/tackle Rashaad Coward at right guard, after Kyle Long was injured and eventually retired. Coward struggled, but the player who will be his job competition know that feeling all too well.

Ifedi allowed 21 sacks over the last four seasons, according to Pro Football Focus, and the website had given him very low overall blocking grades in the 50s over each of those four seasons.

Ifedi becomes the fourth free agent acquired who was a first-round draft pick since the signing period began for free agency eight days ago. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn, former Steelers first-round cornerback Artie Burns and former Browns first-round linebacker Barkevious Mingo were the others.

One of Ifedi's nightmare games was the 2018 Monday night loss by Seattle at Soldier Field to the Bears when he had to battle Khalil Mack. On that night Mack had a sack, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

Guard remains a position the Bears can look to in the draft. They may need the rookie help because Ifedi's struggles with the Seahawks could simply be an indication of what's to come. Last season the Texas A&M product committed 13 penalties, which matched the team-high total tackle Charles Leno Jr. committed for the Bears.

The Seahawks hadn't picked up the fifth-year contract option on Ifedi, who started his career playing right guard. He struggled at right guard so they moved him to right tackle, which is where he had played at Texas A&M. 

Tackle proved more than he could handle and he led the NFL in penalties with 20. Of those 20 penalties, 17 were for false starts or holding.

The difficult part of this from a Bears standpoint is the problems came when Seattle was using a zone style blocking scheme like the Bears employ. Seattle switched in 2018 to a man-to-man type of scheme and Ifedi cut his penalties total to 11. 

The Bears have another candidate at right guard besides Ifedi and Coward in undrafted Alex Bars from Notre Dame. 

In another curious move, the Bears also brought back quarterback Tyler Bray on a one-year contract according to a league source. Bray spent the last two seasons on and off the practice squad and has been playing in the Kansas City Chiefs style of offense the Bears use since 2014.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

 

 

    

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