Source: Bucs, Amobi Okoye agree

Updated: April 7, 2012, 10:36 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Free agent defensive tackle Amobi Okoye has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery said during a conference call with season ticket holders earlier in the week that he expected Okoye, who spent just one season in Chicago, to sign with another team.

"I think Amobi is trying to decide which direction he's going," Emery said. "We've had conversations with him. So far we haven't been able to work out a deal. I really believe that Amobi is probably going in a different direction."

Okoye registered four sacks for the Bears in 2011 in primarily a backup role. A first-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2007, Okoye drew interest from several teams in free agency, including the Bears.

He proved to be a dependable reserve three-technique defensive tackle behind starter Henry Melton, a role the Bears must now look to fill with what's currently left on the roster, or in the upcoming NFL draft.

Okoye is the second defensive tackle to leave the club in the last few months. Dependable veteran nose tackle Anthony Adams was released prior to free agency in a cost-cutting move, but has yet to find a new home.

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.