Buccaneers Free Agency 2012: Amobi Okoye Reportedly Signs with Tampa Bay

Field Yates@FieldYatesCorrespondent IIIApril 8, 2012

Okoye spent 2011 with Chicago.
Okoye spent 2011 with Chicago.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Free agent defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who spent the 2011 season with the Chicago Bears, is headed to Tampa Bay to join the Buccaneers, according to ESPN.

Financial details of the deal remain unknown, but Okoye will add interior depth to a defensive line in Tampa Bay ripe with young talent.

Originally the 10th overall selection in the 2007 draft by the Houston Texans, Okoye served in a reserve role for Chicago last season, amassing four sacks and 27 tackles. 

For his career, Okoye has totaled 15 sacks and 165 tackles, although he has not lived up the expectations set when he became a highly-touted first-round pick.

In Tampa Bay, Okoye will likely serve as part of an interior defensive line rotation that also features former top pick Gerald McCoy and third-year tackle Brian Price.

From a skill set standpoint, Okoye offers explosive power and linear quickness to make an impact in sub packages as a pass-rusher and the chase-down ability to be a gap-shooting run stuffer. Despite the slow start to his NFL career, Okoye is an intriguing package because he will be just 25 years old entering his sixth season in the NFL.

His path through college and into the NFL was a popular story leading into his career. Okoye enrolled at Louisville at the age of 15 and debuted for the Texans when he was just 20 years old. He was born in Nigeria and moved to Huntsville, Alabama when he was 12. He quickly moved onto the educational fast track, and elected to play at Louisville over such schools as Harvard.

Tampa Bay finished 4-12 in 2011, and will pick fifth overall in the upcoming NFL draft.

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