Will Lovie Look To Israel Idonije?

June 21st, 2014

Joe’s done some digging

A fixture for nine seasons on Lovie Smith’s Bears teams, versatile defensive lineman Israel Idonije is now on the free market, released by Chicago this week.

So will Lovie talk to his 33-year-old friend and possibly invite him to Bucs training camp? Joe’s done some digging.

A source close to the Bears who watched Idonije in their recent minicamp said he’s unsure how much, if anything, Idonije has left in his tank, but the source said he could see Lovie considering Idonije as a valuable option because of his versatility.

Idonije has had success in his career at all the defensive line positions, with the least amount of time at right defensive end. He started 42 of 48 games from 2010 to 2012, with eight sacks in 2010 and 7.5 in 2012. That time was mixed as a left defensive end and an inside rusher. Prior to his time as a starter, Idonije was considered an elite special teams player and has eight blocked punts/kicks in his career.

Last year, he was a backup for 15 games in Detroit before the Bears brought him back this offseason. Reports say Idonije worked with the third-team defensive line during the spring minicamp.

However, judging a defensive lineman during spring practices, aka underwear football, is difficult if not impossible. They’re not allowed to hit anyone.

Idonije also is known for being an elite athlete and great citizen, a winner of many humanitarian honors.

Right now, the Bucs backup for Gerald McCoy seems to be undrafted rookie Euclid Cummings. And out-of-shape Da’Quan Bowers, in the final year of his contract, occupies a roster spot. Perhaps Lovie wants more competition? It can’t hurt to at least bring in Idonije for a chat and a workout.

27 Responses to “Will Lovie Look To Israel Idonije?”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Can’t hurt….

  2. lightningbuc Says:


    How was vacation? Hawaii, right?

  3. SAMCRO Says:

    I thought the ideal was to get younger, bringing in a guy on the backside of his career takes a spot away from a young developing player who has more upside. If L&L go that route I won’t complain but we already know what we would get from Idonije. The Bears saw a major decline in Idonije and decided to move on. Reclamation projects should be for teams that are already chock full of talent, and can afford a spot to a player in decline.

  4. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Bring him in. Bower needs to know this year is not secure for him. If he is still good enough to be a backup definitely bring him in. Young players can all learn from his off the field contributions. The special team and the community can benefit from him.

    Good job Joe.

  5. SteveK Says:

    Worth a look.

    Not like our DEs are not in need of some competition. Ehmmmm, Bowers.

  6. Thomas Says:


    He was released by the Bears because he has nothing left in the tank. The Bears are trying to rebuild their defensive line even more than we are. They had nothing at the end of last year (Whereas we had Mccoy and Clayborn at least).

    The consensus is that Israel’s career has just about come to its conclusion.

  7. finishers Says:

    he could be a good back up.

  8. Louis Friend Says:

    I’d hate to see a young guy with potential being replaced with a guy in their twilight. He’s had a good career, but it doesn’t mean he’s still a good player. Pass on him.

  9. Netwalker Says:

    Too old and too beat up after all those starts. He got cut for a reason not related to salary. He’s not a quarterback who spent most of his career on the bench safe from harm. If they want more depth, wait until some team has to make salary cuts and pick up someone in their prime.

  10. Cody Says:

    Honestly I don’t think we Isreal…

    Euclid Cummings has a legit shot to make the team…McCoy, McDonald, Spence, Cummings, Gholston, etc gives a pretty good rotation @ the DT position…I think we should take a look at Bowers @ DT he looks like one anyway…

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think it would cost Bowers his roster spot…or maybe not. There are plenty of guys that can be cut at this point.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Having him as a backup might not be a bad idea. We’ve been pretty much assuming GMC won’t get injured again…but you never know.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ lightingbuc

    Thanks for asking….Great….TBBF now stands for Totally Big Butt Fan……ate too much, 6 rounds of expensive golf & now with major jet lag.
    Glad to be back on JBF.
    Missing 87……know his new moniker?

  14. Snook Says:

    Lovie has shown that he’ll being in ex – Bears but only for the right price. See Devin Hester.

  15. Biff Barker Says:

    Lovie and Cullen will make the determination how much he’s got left. Sounds like he’s a solid citizen and would be a great teammate though.

  16. Terry Muster Says:

    Move Bowers inside permanently as a backup 3 technique. No to Idonije.

    Seen this thought a couple of times. WHy does anyone think Bowers is tough enough or strong enough to handle that position? –Joe

  17. Kevin Says:

    Bring him in for depth. I also can see a vet toward the end of his career putting in way more effort for Lovie than other coaches. If he is that versatile than why not bring him in for training camp?

  18. Orca Says:

    I wish everyone would get over trying to salvage Bowers. It’s not happening. He’s not going to survive training camp. I don’t expect they’re going to tolerate half-ass effort from anybody. Let’s concern ourselves with the guys that are out there busting their tails and who have some upside.

  19. Bill Says:

    He is exactly the type of vet the Bucs need for depth inside in case Cummings is more if a PS type.


    I’ve been back to the site 5 times today just to find out 87’s new moniker. LOL GO BUCS !!!!!!!

  21. Colin Says:


  22. SteveK Says:


    Where are you at dude?

    What’s the new moniker?

    Bowers vs Idonje would be some good stuff!
    Right up there with the OG battle and the #2 RB battle.

  23. PRBucFan Says:

    What did he get banned or something?

  24. MadMax Says:

    uh oh. 1987 must have had a few too many again. It gets the best of us at times, and then we do drunk posts…. I go on a music video spree on facebook when I “drunk post”.

  25. Buc89 Says:

    LOL at the guys coming back and back to this page trying to find a dudes new screenname. Why don’t you just start a fanclub for him on facebook? Way worse than joes mancrush on johnny football, just saying


    Buc89, COME ON MAN, just having a little fun. WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM !!!!! JUST SAYIN’

  27. PRBucFan Says:

    Buc89 How bout you worry about you?

    You sound petty as hell