LAKE FOREST, IL — The Chicago Bears signed DE Jamil Merrell and LB Conor O'Neill, waived S Sean Cattouse, QB Jerrod Johnson and TE Fendi Onobun and terminated the contract of vested veteran DL Israel Idonije today.
The 6-4, 252-pound Merrell appeared in 34 games with 18 starts over four seasons (2010-13) at Rutgers, collecting 81 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 16 tackles for losses, one forced fumble and four pass break-ups. As team captain in his senior season, Merrell saw action in 11 games, starting the Scarlet Knights bowl game, gathering 23 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for losses and two pass break-ups.
The 6-0, 230-pound O'Neill appeared in 53 games with nine starts over four seasons (2010-13) at Wisconsin, registering 91 tackles, seven tackles for losses, three forced fumbles, one interception, one fumble recovery and four pass break-ups. As a senior, O'Neill started nine-of-12 games played, recording 41 tackles, 5.5 tackles for losses, two sacks and a forced fumble.
Cattouse has appeared in two NFL games during his two-year NFL career with San Diego (2012) and Chicago (2013) after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers in 2012.
Johnson has spent time with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Chicago since entering the NFL in 2011 but has not appeared in a regular season game.
Onobun has appeared in four games in two seasons with St. Louis (2010) and Jacksonville (2011), grabbing two receptions for 15 yards. He spent the 2013 season on the Bears practice squad but did not appear in a regular season game for Chicago.
For his NFL career, Idonije has started 50 of 149 games, registering 273 tackles, 29 sacks, 40 tackles for losses, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He has added 36 special teams tackles and eight blocked kicks. Idonije was Chicago's Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2009 and was the Bears "Walter Payton Man of the Year" nominee in 2009 and 2010, including being one of three finalists for the League award in 2010.
The Chicago Bears active roster currently sits at 88 players.
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