Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye has drawn a fair amount of interest in free agency and that means he’s unlikely to return to the Bears in 2012.
On a conference call with season ticket holders on Wednesday, general manager Phil Emery said that the team has had conversations with Okoye about returning to the team. Those conversations haven’t been frutitful, however, and that leads Emery to believe Okoye will be in a different uniform next season.
“Right now, Amobi is trying to decide which direction he is going,” Emery said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “We’ve had conversations with him. So far, we have not been able to work out a deal. Amobi is probably going in a different direction.”
Okoye had four sacks as an interior lineman for the Bears last season. While he didn’t start, he wound up playing more than half the snaps and made a nice tandem with Henry Melton. If he does wind up leaving, the Bears, who also released defensive tackle Anthony Adams, will have to find some help on the line in the draft or free agency.
Even though he’s going into his sixth NFL season, Okoye will be just 25 in June. The Bengals, Buccaneers, Broncos and Patriots have all shown interest in finding out if that means there’s room for growth in the future.