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Bears Free Agency 2012: DT Amobi Okoye Signs With Buccaneers

The Chicago Bears appear have lost one of the key defensive lineman as DT Amobi Okoye has signed a 1-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Chicago Tribune reports the former Bears interior lineman -- who was rarely a starter, but played a major role in the Bears' defensive line rotations -- has come to terms with the Bucs after weeks of negotiations with the Bengals, Broncos, Patriots and even the Bears. According to the GM Phil Emery, the Bears attempted to bring Okoye back for an encore season, but the two sides were apparently too far apart as Emery could tell a deal was out of reach even earlier in the week:

"Right now, Amobi is trying to decide which direction he is going," Emery said Wednesday. "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."

The Bears are likely to shift Okoye's workload to DT Matt Toeaina, DT Stephen Paea and potentially a new addition via the draft.

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