Idonije signs with the Lions

Former Bears defensive end Israel Idonije has signed with the Detroit Lions, adding even more depth to the already strong defensive line of an NFC North foe.

After drafting Cornelius Washington in the sixth round of this year's draft, Chicago Bears general manager was asked what the selection meant in regard to Israel Idonije's future with the team.

"Well right now Izzy isn't a part of the team, so I can't really answer that," said Emery. "If he comes in, obviously, there will be great competition, if we ended up signing him some day. But right now he is not a member of the Bears."

And that isn't going to change, at least not this year, as Idonije has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions. This is a steal by the Lions, bringing in a solid veteran who can not only produce on the field but also provide leadership to a locker room lacking in character.

The Bears wanted to bring back Idonije, as he was arguably the most consistent defensive end on the team last year, yet they weren't able to fit him under the salary cap. Idonije joins a defensive line that already features Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Kyle Vanden Bosch and first rounder Ezekiel Ansah. Idonije will replace former Lions pass rusher Cliff Avril, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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