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Amobi Okoye reportedly near deal with Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are close to a deal with free-agent defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

There is serious doubt if Okoye will pass a physical in Chicago, however, a source with knowledge of the player's health told and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Selected by the Houston Texans with the 10th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Okoye started 58 of 62 games at the start of his career before he was released and signed by the Bears last August. Okoye started only one of 16 games for the Bears last season but, according to official playing-time documents, played in nearly 55 percent of defensive snaps. Okoye recorded four sacks, his highest total since posting 5.5 sacks as a rookie.

Okoye has been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract on April 10. Okoye, 25, underwent knee surgery late in the offseason and missed a significant portion of training camp and the preseason with the injury. According to a source with knowledge of Okoye's contract with the Buccaneers, the defensive tackle was due to earn $1.8 million in base salary, $700,000 of which was fully guaranteed.

If healthy, which could be a major "if" since the Buccaneers have released him, Okoye could be a valuable rotational tackle for the Bears, as Stephen Paea and former Buc Brian Price are battling recent injuries.

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter _@brianmcintyre_.

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