The Bears are tossing in a fresh body into an already crowded room of reserve offensive linemen:
#Bears roster moves:
We have signed OL T.J. Clemmings and have waived OL Tommy Doles.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) May 31, 2019
Offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings joins the Bears. In order to make room for Clemmings on the team’s 90-man roster, Chicago has waived offensive lineman Tommy Doles. This marks the second time this offseason Doles has been let go by the Bears.
Clemmings has a unique prospect pedigree dating back to his time as a prep athlete, which makes his signing an intriguing one. He received Division I offers as a high school basketball prospect from Providence and Seton Hall, but he was at his best on the gridiron. Rivals.com listed Clemmings as a four-star defensive end recruit, while Scout.com ranked him as the state of New Jersey’s No. 1 player, a top-10 defensive end prospect, and a top-40 prospect in the country. But after starting his college career at Pittsburgh as a defensive lineman, Clemmings made the switch from defensive end to offensive tackle for his last two years one campus. Clemmings took to his new digs quite well, earning All-ACC honors in 2014.
Clemmings was a highly regarded offensive line prospect entering the 2015 NFL Draft. Some draft gurus even pegged him to be a first-round talent, but a stress fracture in his foot caused his stock to drop. The Minnesota Vikings ended up rolling the dice on Clemmings, selecting him in the fourth round (110th overall), then starting him in 30 games over the first two years of his professional career. It was a struggle for Clemmings in Minnesota, earning grades of 48.1 and 31.0 in his first two years from Pro Football Focus. And after a failed transition from tackle to guard in 2017, the Vikings cut Clemmings.
Perhaps new coaches and a new lease on a football life will put Clemmings in a better position to succeed. If not, then I suppose there are other perks to having experienced linemen in camp.