The Bears have invited some well-known guests to their minicamp. They are working out five players — including tight end Jake Butt, cornerback E.J. Gaines and defensive tackle Mike Pennel — at their three-day mandatory session, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
This marks Butt’s second known workout of the offseason. The Michigan alum auditioned for the Cardinals recently. Although Butt starred for the Wolverines not that long ago, he has battled rampant injury trouble as a pro. The former Broncos draftee now has three career ACL tears, two coming in Denver, and has played in just eight games in four seasons.
Mixed signals have come out of Chicago regarding the team’s interest in adding a veteran cornerback. The Bears were believed to be interested in Bashaud Breeland, but he signed with the Vikings, and had Steven Nelson on the radar. But new DC Sean Desai also expressed confidence in his in-house cover men. Gaines has 38 career starts but has not played in a game since the 2018 season. The former Rams draftee opted out in 2020.
Pennel leads this group in experience. The veteran interior D-lineman spent the past two years with the Chiefs, making an impact for the two-time reigning AFC champions’ run defense. Pennel, 30, played 14 games with Kansas City last season. The former Packers and Jets defender has played seven NFL seasons.
The Bears are also working out two players who recently participated in The Spring League — tight end Sal Cannella and Tyrone Wheatley Jr. The team lists Wheatley as an offensive lineman, though the second-generation NFL hopeful played tight end at Michigan — as one of Butt’s backups — and Stony Brook. Chicago’s minicamp is scheduled to run through Thursday.
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