What About Idonije?

May 16th, 2013

Could the Bucs use an extremely versatile, durable defensive lineman, who’s also productive?

The answer seems like a no-brainer.

But for some reason the Bucs are passing on free agent Israel Idonije. who had 7 1/2 sacks with the Bears last season and hasn’t missed a game since 2006.

Super Bowl winning former general manager Charley Casserly, of NFL Network, also is flummoxed by Idonije’s NFL homelessness, as he explained in this NFL Network video.

“I watched the guy in five games last year. Every time you watch him this guy makes a play!” Casserly said of Idonije. “He can give you a nickel rush inside. He can still be a solid defensive end outside in a rotation. And every now and then he’ll give you a rush from the outside, a little mystery to me why this guy’s not on a roster. But as a rotating defensive lineman he can play all four positions in a rotational role. Good sign, I think.”

Idonije is 32 years old, and it’s unknown what kind of money he’s seeking.

Perhaps Idonije is no better than Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, but if Joe were the Bucs’ general manager, he’d want to give the guy a workout and an interview. What’s to lose? Idonije spent the past three years on Rod Marinelli’s defensive line in Chicago and was blossoming there.

28 Responses to “What About Idonije?”

  1. Mike J Says:

    Apologies if citing them is becoming tedious, but PFF certainly agrees:

    ”6. Israel Idonije

    2012 Grade: +17.8
    2012 Snaps: 726

    Summary: This free agent draft class on the edge defenders quickly runs out of steam and we’re either into big risks or players that you simply sign on a year-by-year basis to get production from them until they run out of steam. The classic example of this in recent seasons has been Vonnie Holliday who has consistently played out one-year deals and just played very well on whatever snaps he was given. After an excellent season on a one-year contract in Chicago, Idonije could be lining himself up as the 4-3 equivalent for the next few years.

    With the size and ability to rush the passer from inside and out, Idonije is a valuable addition for any 4-3 team and his improved run defense this season (+7.5) only increases his value as you don’t have to carefully manage the snaps he plays. Returning to Chicago is a logical choice for Idonije but on a one-year deal anywhere, a team will be getting good value.” https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/02/19/ranking-the-2013-free-agents-edge-defenders/

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I don’t believe the Bucs will go after anyone that is 30+. I woundn’t mind bringing i the guy on a 1 year deal…but maybe he isn’t willing to settle for such?

    The lack of quality FA DTs is exactly why I felt the Bucs should have used the 3rd rounder on one. But no point in crying over spilled milk now. What I’m interested in is how the position plays out from this point on. I’m not encouraved thus far.

    On the lack of 30+ FAs…maybe it’s because they are more injury prone and Tampa is a magnet for injuries.

    Wish we could have a 60 man final roster.

  3. MR.T Says:

    He certainly sounds better than anyone we have as a backup now. Hasn’t missed a game since 06, hardly injury prone. Would be good for a 1 or 2 yr. deal depending on what he is looking for

  4. Mike J Says:

    I tend to think the Bucs’ brass has gone a bit too far on this ”building through youth” plan. Guys can still play past 30.

  5. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    I am hoping that Vincent Jackson isn’t forced to retire this year, being 30 and all….

  6. DB Says:

    Personally, if Tampa bay gets Idonije (which im still scratching my head why he hasn’t been picked up yet ) I think the Buccaneers front line will be solid with depth! Also, it will contain a veteran DL who has had a lot of great experience and success. Idonije is such a dominant player I wish I can ask Dominick why not him? He is a Buccaneers man and seems like a perfect plug in piece.

  7. Bobby Says:

    If he’s that good and he’s still floating around unsigned then there must be a reason. It’s not like the Bucs are the only ones passing on him. He either wants too much money or there is something else we don’t know.

  8. TBuc_40 Says:

    Another “why don’t they get more depth post”? Seriously Joe, do you not have anything else to write about??

    Most teams carry 6-8 players on D Line for games. We have 15 on the roster with a potential game day rotation of Bowers, Clayborn, McCoy, Spence, Gohlston, Gibson, Te’o, and Means. I’m not too worried about that. Maybe we only dress 7 and Means sits, but either way, we not in dire need of having every FA D lineman out there and you can’t expect your guys to be glass, or you trade them ie Brian Price.

    Dom and Schiano are very big on character and getting the right guys for our system and that is what they have done with almost everyone of our roster spots.

  9. Adam Says:

    Of COURSE the Bucs are passing on him. He might provide playmaking ability and depth to a D-line that is a sprained knee away from completely imploding.

    I really am starting to think that Dominik is pulling a Costanza and is trying to get fired because he has a job lined up somewhere else.

  10. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ TBuc

    I agree it is getting a bit monotonous, but that doesn’t change that fact that it is still a legitimate question/concern. the one and only position I worry about is the D line because those players that you have listed have proven that they cant be counted on just yet, key word being just yet, so we are taking a serious risk putting all our faith in them without adding a little bit of security (such as proven/rarely injured player like Idonije). if they were to add a player like Idonije it would definitely give me peace of mind and I can speak for myself when I say I would shut my mouth for good. but Im not holding my breath on it happening. I just hope the bucs know what they’re doing.

    we have to make sure the most important position on defense, the D line, is in the best possibly position to be successful.

  11. Andrew 1 Says:

    I think they key to this whole thing or the x factor is Akeem Spence. if he plays great it could take our defense to a whole nother level.

  12. Joe Says:

    @TBuc_40 — You’re reading between the lines too much. Joe’s talking about bringing the guy in for a workout and an interview. Why not dig deeper to see if he can offer more than Te’O?

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    TBuc_40, in all fairness, this is happening because other than two vet acquisitions and our 2nd round pick the moves this off season do not appear like great moves.

    For example, a 4th rounder as a starter on the dline in his rookie season? On paper there is plenty of reason for concern.

    There is potential for GMC, Bowers and Clayborn to all be injured this year. What if that happens? It would be a nightmare, especially with no veteran presence.

    I happen to agree with building thru the draft and only getting FAs when necessary or if they are -29 with talent. But in this case there are guys out there that, if willing to play backup roles, would be very good signings…even if only one year deals to buy time to improve depth through thexdraft.

  14. RastaMon Says:

    enter…the worst part of the off season

  15. Mike J Says:

    RastaMon , well, we gotta talk about sumpin!!

  16. knucknbuc Says:

    Why would we sign this guy? Im telling yall right now akeem spence is gonna be a stud in due time.

  17. Macabee Says:

    Some may call it a risk, but the Bucs have younger up and coming guys that they like. I can’t argue with them, will just take the wait-and-see approach for now.

    As for Idonije, his DC from last year, Rod Marinelli, is now DC at Dallas together with Monte Kiffin. They are converting to a 4-3 defense under Kiffin. Marinelli knows this guy very well and has not given him a call. Instead they picked up Anthony Hargrove DE from the Saints.

    If Marinelli isn’t interested, we probably ought to take a pass too!

  18. stevek Says:

    What about Dwight Freeney? He is intriguing.

    I am curious to see who Dom plucks from another team’s roster to “kick the tires on” somebody.l Dom excels and quick decisive decisions, I like that he doesn’t blink if the right offer is on the table. He has really earned his since picking Schiano to lead Buc Nation.

  19. stevek Says:


    What makes you think Akeem Spence is going to excel at the pro level?

    I have no idea who the guy is, but I have read he started all 3 years as an Illini, and is a power weight liftin champion. IMO, sounds like a more talented Roy Miller.

  20. Curmudgeon Says:

    The Bucs will continue to take an approach of building with youth. They are going to draft players and develop them. That’s what’s happening. Even the FAs they sign are on the good side of 30. That is going to continue until they are a team that is contending for the SB, at which point they may plug in a 1 year fix here and there… Until then, learn to live with T’eo-Nesheim, Wm Gholston, and Steven Means as your backup DEs until they prove unworthy. That is the plan they’re following and I see no reason to think they’re going to deviate, at least not this year.

  21. knucknbuc Says:


    Idk he was just one of those guys that I’ve wanted from the beginning in the mid rounds. Iv’e watched alot of big ten football cuz I’m an MSU fan so I’ve seen spence play more then a couple times. He always seemed like he made or disrupted a play. He’s strong and has Way more pass rush skills then miller ever dreamed of having. Honestly I don’t think miller was that good, I mean just last year people were talking about how much he sucked now Joe and others complain about how much we lost. I was never a huge fan of miller and wasn’t last year either. He was just alright, instead of being awful like his 1st 3 years in the league. Honestly I think Roy miller is Akeem Spence’s floor not his ceiling. IMO.

  22. Bobby C Says:


  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    The Bucs need to see what they have first with the rookies before they sign another castoff. The FA Defensive Ends will likely find work when teams start losing players like San Diego the other day.

  24. stevek Says:

    It will be fun to see who Seatle and San Francisco cut on their way down to 53. Those teams are just oozing with talent.

    Maybe we can get Michael Bennett back on the cheap?

  25. stevek Says:


    Thanks for the insight, sounds like a good player. I am a Buckeye fan, but didn’t watch a lot this year due to sanctions, and still trying to accept Urban Meyer as my coach.

    Spence sounds like a force to be reckoned with in the middle. I just hope he can apply his strength into game strength.

  26. Macabee Says:

    Bobby C,

    The Jags got both Love and Deaderick, DTs cut by the Pats. Both claimed off waivers.

  27. Mike J Says:

    Curmudgeon , if you want a ten-year rebuilding, that’s the only way to go.

  28. scubog Says:

    Funny that I don’t recall reading anyone clamoring for this player until now. Looks like “just a guy” on the downside of his career to me.