As expected, the Chicago Bears swapped a pair of defensive tackles the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up on, signing defensive tackle Amobi Okoye to a one-year contract and waiving Brian Price.
Okoye, who played for the Bears last season, had arthroscopic knee surgery in June after signing a one-year, $2 million deal with the Bucs during the offseason. He reached an injury settlement Friday.
Over the weekend, Okoye told the Chicago Sun Times he was puzzled about the way his injury was portrayed by new Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano.
The Bucs didn't think Okoye's knee would allow him to produce at a comparable rate for them. After playing in the first preseason game, Okoye had to be held out of the next two because of his ongoing knee problems, and that limited the Bucs' ability to evaluate him, Schiano said.
"It’s too bad to hear the unfortunate things he’s saying about my knee," Okoye said to the Sun Times. "It’s kind of unfair of him to say what he said to the media, painting a bad picture like my knee was always bad.
"It really makes me question the character of he himself, because, while I was there, he was trying to mold us to be kind of like him. It made me question all the things he was teaching me, as far as TBA — Trust, Belief and Accountability — his way of doing things. It’s like, ‘Wow, what type of guy is this?’ That really hurt."
Okoye, Houston's 10th overall pick in 2010, has 15 career sacks.
The Bears had acquired Price from Tampa Bay in July for a 2013 draft pick. But he struggled coming off a leg injury and sustained a head injury in the final preseason game - the latest blow for a player who's had a rough time.
Two brothers were killed in shootings in Los Angeles while he was growing up. His sister died in a car accident in May, and he and his wife decided to adopt her children. There were also reports of a fight with rookie safety Mark Barron - a first-round pick this year - in a team meeting room, an altercation that occurred a few weeks after Price was hospitalized for several days for mental and physical exhaustion following his sister's death.
A second-round pick in 2010, Price, 23, played in 20 games with the Bucs, producing 27 tackles and three sacks.