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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Chicago Bears release Jeremiah Attaochus, sign Mike Pennel

Chicago Bears release Jeremiah Attaochus, sign Mike Pennel

Bears making moves!
Publish Date: 06/14/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The Chicago Bears have made some changes to their team before their obligatory minicamp starts on Tuesday. The Bears have let go of defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu and signed nose tackle Mike Pennel, the team said Monday night. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the NFL!

Attaochu wasn’t best suited for the Bears’ new 4-3 defense under Matt Eberflus, so his release didn’t come as much of a wonder. That’s not even taking into account that Chicago saved money on the salary cap as a result.

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β€œFor sure, I’m definitely excited about this scheme,” Attaochu said to the journalists last Wednesday about the conclusion of OTAs. β€œI get to do one job and that’s get off the ball, get in a track stance and use my athleticism.”

Last offseason, Attaochu signed a two-year deal with Chicago. He only played in five games and made two tackles before having a muscle injury in his chest during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5. This ended his season.

Pennel has experience playing in both the 4-3 and 3-4 formations. The Bears need more depth at nose tackle since their starting nose tackle, Angelo Blackson, has been a 3-4 player his whole career, and their backup, Khyiris Tonga, is only in his second season.

By letting Attaochu go, Chicago was able to add $2.45 million to its salary cap. According to OTC, the Bears now have $24.66 million in cap space, which is the third most in the league.

β€œBeing very versatile most of my career, standing up, dropping, I think it takes the thinking out it for a guy with superior athleticism,” Attaochu added.

Attachaochu joins Danny Trevatan (linebacker), Eddie Goldman (nose tackle), Tarik Cohen (running back), and a slew of other players that have been let go this summer.

β€œSo a guy that can get off the ball before everybody else, beat the O-lineman out of his stance, use my quickness, use my speed, so I definitely fit in very well.”

Welcoming Pennel for a second time

Pennel, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 330 pounds, was signed last June. And yet, he didn’t make the final roster due to injury. However, he seems to have a better chance of making the team this time because he was a backup for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 and 2020, when Ryan Poles (current Bears GM) was there.

After the Bears let him go last year, Pennel was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in October but only had a one-year deal. In eight NFL seasons, Pennel has begun 16 games and played in 101 games even though he has never been a full-time starter.

His most starts were seven, and that was with the New York Jets in 2018 when he played end in a 3-4 formation under coach Todd Bowles. He has made 176 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and two sacks.

Amidst the departures of major veterans including Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, and Akiem Hicks from the Bears’ interior defensive line, this summer they have been focused on improving the depth. Alongside Blackson and Tonga, Mario Edwards also benefits from the inclusion of Pennel.

Robert Quinn, Al-Quadin Muhammad, and Trevis Gipson lead Chicago’s edge rushers. There is a good chance that players like Dominique Robinson, Sam Kamara, and Charles Snowden will be able to make the team.

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