The Chicago Bears traded 2011 first-round pick Gabe Carimi to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Carimi was set to take part in Bears minicamp this week, but is now on his way south where he will join the Bucs, pending a physical. The Bears reportedly received a sixth-round pick in return.
The former Wisconsin left tackle has struggled to gain traction in the NFL. Carimi missed all but two games of his rookie season due to a knee injury. In 2012, he started 14 games but wasn't as effective as a former first rounder ought to be. Carimi began the season as the starting right tackle, but lost the job. He later reemerged in the lineup at guard due to injuries.
This offseason, Carimi notably opted to skip voluntary workouts with the Bears in favor of working out in Arizona on his own. With the Bears breaking in a new head coach, the decision to train on the other side of the country may have not been the best if Carimi was hoping to ingratiate himself with Marc Trestman and new offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer.
SBNation's Bears blog Windy City Gridiron points out that Carimi's trade may have been a matter of roster space:
With all the additions the Bears made to the offensive line, it was eventually going to be a numbers crunch to determine who left, but this ensures they at least get something back. I think a sixth is a little low, but you might not get much else for a player that missed nearly all of his rookie season and didn't show much in his sophomore campaign.
The Bears added a lot of new bodies to the offensive line this offseason. Jermon Bushrod, signed from the New Orleans Saints, is expected to start at left tackle, and Matt Slauson, via the New York Jets, should handle left guard. The Bears also drafted Kyle Long out of Oregon in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, who can man either right guard or right tackle.