Former Seahawks Starter Germain Ifedi Lands with Bears, Signs One-Year Deal
The Seahawks biggest free agent domino along the offensive line has finally fallen in free agency, albeit on a shorter deal than projected.
As reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, veteran tackle Germain Ifedi has agreed to terms with the Bears on a one-year contract. Financial terms have yet to be disclosed.
Originally drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft by Seattle, Ifedi became an immediate starter at right guard as a rookie. Before his sophomore season, then-line coach Tom Cable slid him outside to right tackle, where he started all but one of the team's 48 regular season games over the past three seasons.
After struggling mightily and drawing the ire of fans in his first two seasons in the league, Ifedi took well to the coaching of Mike Solari, making steady progress in pass protection the past two seasons. Still, he battled lingering penalty issues with 52 of them in 60 starts and the Seahawks opted to decline his fifth-year option last May, setting him up to hit free agency.
Set to turn 26 years old in June, many analysts expected Ifedi to be one of the most sought after tackles on the free agent market given his youth, durability, and first-round pedigree. However, he remained unsigned after the first week, signaling actual interest from teams didn't match initial expectations and didn't receive the money he wanted.
Now joining the Bears, Ifedi not only had to settle for a one-year deal, but he may also have to change positions and compete for a starting role. According to Rapoport, the Bears may plan to move him to right guard alongside tackle Bobbie Massie.
Last week, the Seahawks began executing plans for life without Ifedi, signing former Jets starter Brandon Shell to a two-year contract worth $11 million as a possible replacement. The team also signed former Bengals first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi to a one-year contract as a swing tackle candidate, who is expected to fill the void left behind by the departure of George Fant.