Bobby Massie has a new team. The former Chicago Bears offensive lineman has landed with the Denver Broncos, where former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio currently serves as head coach. Fangio has amassed quite a collection of former Bears over the last few seasons, including cornerbacks Bryce Callahan and Kyle Fuller.
The Broncos signed Massie to a one-year deal after right tackle Ja’Wuan James suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in early May. A salary cap casualty for the Bears this spring, Massie has started 64 games over his five seasons with the team. He missed eight games in 2020 due to a knee injury and six games the year prior with a high ankle sprain, so recent ailments likely played a part in Chicago choosing to part ways with him, as well.
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Germain Ifedi Will Replace Massie at Right Tackle
A nine-year vet who began his career with the Arizona Cardinals, Massie has been Chicago’s starting right tackle for the last five seasons. With Massie off to Denver, the Bears are planning on having former Seattle Seahawks first-rounder Germain Ifedi start on the right side.
When asked about the Bears’ new-look offensive line — the team also let veteran tackle Charles Leno Jr. walk — offensive line coach Juan Castillo had some pretty strong words in support of Idedi:
Well, you know the thing I think you have to understand is what we’re gonna do on the right side,” Castillo said Wednesday during coaching Zoom interviews with Bears media members. “We have. Germain Ifedi, who improved a tremendously from where he came from Seattle, you can just look at the stats. How many pressures. How many sacks that he gave up when he was playing right tackle. The thing that you look at is that Germain Ifedi is blessed with God-given talent. He was a first-round draft pick. My job as a coach is to get that out of him. I know that he hadn’t been playing like that at Seattle. But I think he improved. He cut his penalties over half from what he had at Seattle. And I think everybody would say that if you watched the tape, he played square, which was his problem at Seattle and I think he’s just gonna get better. The kid was a first-round draft pick.
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Bears Could Miss Leno & Massie’s Durability
The Bears have certainly gotten younger on the o-line after drafting tackles Teven Jenkins in the 2nd round and Larry Borom in the fifth. But in letting Leno and Massie walk, they’re losing two players who have a combined 158 starts and 12 years under their belts.
Leno has his issues with penalties and Massie’s recent injury history leaves reason for concern, but both were durable, and maintaining consistency on the line is very important — particularly where young and developing quarterbacks are concerned. These were the right moves for the Bears in terms of saving cap space — but we should know shortly into the 2021 season whether they were the right moves for the offensive line.
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