LAKE FOREST – So far in this free agent period, a former Bengals defensive tackle was the biggest acquisition for the Bears.
But in the end, Larry Ogunjobi will not be joining the team in 2022.
On Friday, general manager Ryan Poles announced that the team will not be signing the defensive tackle to a three-year deal which they agreed upon this week after he failed his physical. He suffered a foot injury in the 2021 NFL Playoffs that kept him out for most of the postseason.
“As I said before, Larry Ogunjobi embodies everything we are looking for in a Bear. He is a special person and player. During the league’s negotiating window earlier this week, we agreed to terms with him, subject to him passing a physical here. After a standard and thorough physical and medical review with Larry yesterday afternoon, our medical team deemed him to have failed his physical and therefore, unfortunately, we are not signing him today,” said Poles. “This is difficult and it is emotional for everyone involved, but ultimately is what is in the best interest of protecting the Chicago Bears.”
A five-year NFL veteran, Ogunjobi spent the 2021 season with the AFC champion Bengals. A force on the interior of the line, the defensive tackle finished with career-highs in sacks (7), tackles for loss (12), and quarterback hits (16) in 16 games.
Ogunjobi had a fumble recovery in the first half of Cincinnati’s Wild Card playoff game against the Raiders before a foot injury in the second half kept him out the rest of the postseason.
Before his time with the Bengals, the native of Livingston, New Jersey and former standout at Charlotte played with the Browns, who drafted him in the third round in 2017 (65th overall). In 60 games in Cleveland, Ogunjobi 14.5 sacks with 29 tackles for loss and 37 quarterback hits in four seasons.