Gabe Carimi fighting for roster spot, according to report

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bears' 2011 first-round pick finds himself on the outside looking in.

Gabe Carimi was supposed to be the Bears' future at offensive tackle, and some much-needed protection for Jay Cutler. However, Carimi finds himself on the ropes as he looks to hold onto a roster spot, just two years after being drafted -- this according to the Chicago Tribune.

In addition to the Chicago Tribune questioning his status this season, he was the only member of the Bears who chose to miss the first day of OTAs today, despite being eligible -- according to ESPN Chicago. Instead of remaining with the team, he'll continue to work privately in Arizona.

After sustaining a knee injury early in his career, the Bears had hoped he'd return to form. However, his role is being changed this season as Carimi is being asked to compete at offensive guard. Despite this switch, it's now hard to find a place on the offensive line for the 2011 first-round pick. The right tackle spot is an open competition between J'Marcus Webb and Jonathan Scott, while the guard spots will be contested by Matt Slauson and Kyle Long.

What makes the prospect of cutting Carimi difficult is his contract situation. His $1.9-million cap hit would escalate to $2.8-million if cut, making it an improbability. However, he could be traded. While this wouldn't free up any money in 2013, it would allow for the Bears to recoup a draft pick, and free up a much-needed roster spot.

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