Ryan Poles spoke highly of Larry Ogunjobi upon his signing with the Bears.
Days later, Poles was still singing Ogunjobi’s praise — even after pulling the free agent’s deal off the table after a failed physical.
The Bears have since moved on addressing their needs along the defensive line. First, with Justin Jones as a defensive tackle (and possible Ogunjobi replacement). And later with defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad.
But perhaps we shouldn’t close the door on Ogunjobi joining the Bears later in the offseason. Perhaps on a more palatable deal for a player coming off an injury and a failed physical? The Athletic’s Adam Jahns has the info:
Bears GM Ryan Poles said that he’s open to signing DT Larry Ogunjobi on a lesser deal, but conversations about that hasn’t happened yet. pic.twitter.com/0Mzd5WE5ON
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) March 28, 2022
Poles made it clear that he liked Ogunjobi as a player, but a failed physical is a failed physical. And I imagine there are still some hard feelings stemming from Poles pulling back the contract. And, to that end, we have some optics to discuss.
I don’t want to believe that the Bears used a failed physical as a loophole to get out of Ogunjobi’s deal, but it’s at least possible. It’s not difficult to imagine that the Bears could have (1) realized they were overpaying in the marketplace, (2) saw an escape hatch, and (3) stepped away. It wouldn’t be the first time it happened with an NFL team or player — and certainly won’t be the last.
For what it’s worth, it sure doesn’t sound like the Bears went into a deal with Ogunjobi having bad intentions …
Poles mentioned that he thinks "the process is flawed" and that teams should have access to medical information earlier. Mentioned that it's something that should be addressed in future league meetings.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 28, 2022
… but I can understand how some folks might jump to that conclusion.
Stay tuned. Maybe there is a happy ending for both the Bears and Ogunjobi at the end of this journey.