DT Brian Price passes physical
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Newly acquired Chicago Bears defensive tackle Brian Price passed the team's physical Friday at Olivet Nazarene University, meaning Thursday's trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now official.
Price now must participate in three workouts without pads -- per the collective bargaining agreement -- before he can take the field with the Bears, who hold their first session in full pads Saturday.
A second-round pick in 2010 out of UCLA, Price has played in 20 games with 14 starts in two seasons. But injuries and personal strife have left some around the league to wonder whether a change of scenery might be best for Price at this stage of his career.
Three NFL scouts with other teams unanimously deemed the Price acquisition a strong personnel move for the Bears, who have a need for depth at defensive tackle and may have landed a potential starter. One scout considers Price to possess "Pro Bowl talent," and another said he'd be "surprised" if Price doesn't crack Chicago's starting lineup "provided he's healthy."
"(It was a) very good move," said one NFC personnel evaluator. "(He's an) athletic guy that just needed a change of scenery."
How that manifests itself in Price's play likely remains Chicago's chief concern. Ultimately, though, the club's investment -- a seventh-round pick in 2013, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter -- in Price was minimal. So there's a high probability the Bears landed somewhat of a steal.
According to multiple reports, Price suffered a leg injury Thursday during a conditioning test for the Buccaneers and wasn't able to finish, raising concerns about his health and level of conditioning. Thursday's trade was contingent upon Price passing the Bears' physical.
"(The Bears) know Brian is not in the condition he probably wants to be in," Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told local reporters. "I talked to Phil Emery, the Bears' general manager, and we talked about Brian and where he's at. So we'll see."
Plagued throughout his career with a chronic pelvic issue that has required surgery, Price has also endured hamstring issues associated with his pelvis, which had been fractured, according to reports.
In May, Price's sister, Bridget, was killed in a hit-and-run car accident, leading the defensive tackle to eventually suffer a breakdown that reportedly left him hospitalized from physical and mental exhaustion.
According to reports, shortly after Price rejoined Buccaneers teammates, he became involved in an altercation with first-round pick Mark Barron.
"He has struggled some here in the last year," Emery said Thursday after the team announced the trade. "He's had a tough go of it with family issues, obviously with his sister passing away. He's had a hard time with the transition. He's a player that needs a new home, and we're excited to bring him to Chicago."
Head coach Lovie Smith said the Bears' family atmosphere could help any player looking for a second chance.
"I think we have a great locker room for any player coming in," he said. "(If) you want to be successful, want another second chance to make some things right or just a new start, this is a great place for it.
"Our guys are gonna meet him, be there for him as a teammate and let him know how we do things. We're bringing him in here to help us win football games and hopefully that's what he's coming in here to do."
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