It could easily be said that the Chicago Bears are doing everything in their power to have some kind of strange Tampa Bay Buccaneers reunion here in the Windy City. After all, Jerry Angelo got his start with the Buccaneers before coming here and hiring Lovie Smith, a former Buccaneers coach, to take charge of his team. Then both Angelo and Smith decided to bring in former Tampa Bay defensive line coach and head coach of the Detroit Lions Rod Marinelli in to help an anemic pass rush.
So it would only make sense if Marinelli brought along one of his prized pupils with him, and it looks like he just may get that chance. It turns out that former Tampa Bay defensive end, and not to mention a local product from Mt. Carmel high school and the University of Illinois, Simeon Rice is looking to make a comeback to the NFL.
Rice had the most productive years of his career playing in Tampa under the tutelage of Rod Marinelli, including a career best 15.5 sack season in 2002, the same year the Bucs won the Super Bowl. He also has 122 career sacks in the NFL but most of those haven't come since the 2006 season. Rice spent the 2007 year playing for both the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, but shoulder problems limited him to only eight games between them, and only one sack.
Odds are there aren't going to be many teams lining up for a soon to be 35-year old defensive end who has a reputation for being somewhat of a cancer in the locker room, so if the Bears do have any interest in him, they can get him cheap. When you think about it, there aren't many reasons why the team shouldn't take a shot. It's not like they'd have to guarantee him a roster spot or anything, so there wouldn't be any harm in bringing him to camp and seeing if two years of rest and a reunion with Rod Marinelli can't reignite the spark Rice once had.
It's the ultimate low risk, high reward type signing.