Bears shuffle tight ends
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The Bears released Manumaleuna, announcing that he failed his physical. Manumaleuna was due a $1 million roster bonus and a $100,000 workout bonus. He would have had to be on the Bears roster at 4 p.m. on Friday to earn the roster bonus.
The Bears also traded Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers for a pick and a player, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The NFL Network, meanwhile, reported that the Bears had agreed to a deal with the former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Spaeth.
He became just the second player to strike a deal with the team, which also agreed to terms with former Jacksonville punter Adam Podlesh.
Financial terms of Spaeth's agreement were not disclosed.
A third-round pick of the Steelers in 2007, Spaeth (6-7, 270 pounds) played in 14 games with 13 starts, and was used primarily as the club's blocking tight end in double tight-end sets. In the passing game, Spaeth contributed nine catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.
He fits the mold of Manumaleuna, who was signed during free agency last season to be used primarily as a blocker.
A favorite of offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who prefers tight ends who block first and catch passes second, Manumaleuna was plagued by nagging knee injuries and got off to a slow start last season. Team sources said last year the tight end reported to the team's offseason programs out of shape.
A 10-year veteran, Manumaleuna played all 16 games last season, starting in 13.
As far as the $100,000 workout bonus is concerned, he'll still leave the team with a $50,000 parting gift because the new CBA stipulates a player owed between $50,000 and $100,000 but waived before the Saturday deadline receives $50,000.
Spaeth, meanwhile, has started in 39 career games, posting 36 career catches for 275 yards and five touchdowns.
The team's free-agent acquisitions can't officially sign until Friday, and won't be eligible to practice until Aug. 4.
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
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