Bears re-sign lineman Idonije

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
6:56
PM ET

CHICAGO -- Although the Bears might continue to try to strengthen their outside pass rush in free agency or the upcoming NFL draft, the team agreed to terms on a one-year contract with 31-year-old veteran defensive end Israel Idonije. The team announced the deal Thursday night.

Idonije finished second on the club last year with five sacks and second on the defense with 37 quarterback pressures.

A versatile defensive lineman who can play end and tackle, Idonije set a career-high with 8 sacks in 2010, his first season in the league as a full-time starter.

Before Idonije was elevated to the starting line-up, he spent the bulk of his Bears' career as a reserve defensive lineman and special-teams contributor.

The Bears could still look to upgrade at defensive end, but bringing back Idonije on a one-year deal appears to be a low-risk and potential high-reward move for general manager Phil Emery.

Idonije, a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2010, devotes significant time and resources to helping the community via his foundation. This upcoming season with mark Idonije's ninth in a Bears' uniform, after he originally entered the league in 2003 as an undrafted free agent.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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