Mike Pennel

Bears Sign DT Mike Pennel

Mike Pennel has found his next gig. The veteran defensive tackle is signing a one-year deal with the Bears, according to his agent, Andy Simms (via Twitter).

[RELATED: NT Goldman No-Shows Bears Mandatory Minicamp]

The 2014 undrafted free agent has managed to put together a solid seven-year career, starting games for the Packers, Jets, and Chiefs. He spent the past two seasons in Kansas City, including a 2019 campaign where he started a pair of playoff games en route to a Super Bowl championship. After serving a two-game ban to start the 2020 season, Pennel saw time in 14 games (one starts) with the Chiefs last year, collecting 29 tackles and one QB hit. He also saw time in each of Kansas City’s three playoff contests, collecting a single tackle.

In total, Pennel has seen time in 91 career games (16 starts), collecting 155 tackles, two sacks, and 13 QB hits. The veteran has also appeared in 10 playoff games, collecting 11 tackles.

We heard earlier this week that the 30-year-old was trying out for the Bears. The team could be looking for some extra reinforcement along the defensive line after nose tackle Eddie Goldman decided to no-show mandatory minicamp.

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Jake Butt, E.J. Gaines, Mike Pennel At Bears’ Minicamp On Tryout Basis

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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Chiefs’ Mike Pennel Suspended 2 Games

Already set to be without Bashaud Breeland for four games, the Chiefs are also slated to begin their Super Bowl title defense without defensive tackle Mike Pennel.

The NFL suspended Pennel two games on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Pennel played in 11 Chiefs contests last season, including each of their three playoff games.

Kansas City re-signed Pennel to a one-year deal in March, doing so after the 330-pound interior defensive lineman played a key role in the team’s late-season defensive performance. Pennel played well as a run defender for the Chiefs, with Pro Football Focus giving him a top-20 grade in this area among interior D-linemen last season. Although Pennel only played 154 regular-season snaps, he saw action on 52 defensive plays in the playoffs.

This will be Pennel’s seventh NFL season. The Chiefs initially signed him in October 2019, doing so after the Patriots cut him during training camp. He helped turn the tide after Kansas City’s run defense delivered a historic futility stretch during the season’s first half.

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Contract Details: Anderson, Pennel, Alexander

A handful of contract details to pass along:

Chiefs Re-Sign DL Mike Pennel, FB Anthony Sherman

The defending Super Bowl champs have re-signed defensive lineman Mike Pennel to a one-year pact, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). Pennel said last month that he wanted to return to the Chiefs, and he got his wish.

Besides winning a Super Bowl with KC — and his interception-causing hit on 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo was a big reason for that win — the organization also helped to revitalize Pennel’s career. Following two underwhelming seasons with the Jets, the lineman signed a two-year deal with the Patriots last offseason. However, he didn’t make it to the regular season with New England, and Pennel still found himself out of work in mid-October.

He eventually caught on with the Chiefs, and he proceeded to compile 24 tackles and one sack in eight games for the team. He also appeared in each of Kansas City’s three playoff games, starting two of them, and he earned high praise for his work against the run. Pelissero reports that Pennel had other offers — the Cowboys were said to be in on him — but he will try to recapture the magic with the Chiefs.

Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports reports that KC is also re-signing FB Anthony Sherman to a one-year deal (Twitter link). Sherman has appeared in every game for the Chiefs since he joined the club in 2013, and he earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2018. His offensive snaps have decreased dramatically since Patrick Mahomes became the starting QB, but he remains a critical part of the special teams unit.

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Cowboys, Dontari Poe Discussing Deal

Dontari Poe may have a landing spot soon. The veteran defensive tackle is in discussions with the Cowboys on a deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, adding that a contract could be finalized by the end of the day.

In their hunt for defensive tackle help, the Cowboys are also examining the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Damon Harrison and Mike Pennel, NFL.com’s Jane Slater adds (on Twitter). The Cowboys lost Maliek Collins in free agency last week but already made a deal to sign Gerald McCoy. A Poe addition would make this a high-profile interior line and make for an interesting reunion for players who spent last season on Carolina’s defensive front.

The Panthers did not pick up Poe’s 2020 option, sending him to free agency. This Cowboys are the first team to surface as interested in the former first-round pick. A Pro Bowler with the Chiefs back in the 2013-14 seasons, Poe played the past two seasons with the Panthers.

The mammoth nose tackle registered four sacks last season — his most since 2014 — but only played in 11 games. He is recovering from quadriceps surgery. Before 2019, however, Poe had never missed more than one game in a season. He’s been one of the league’s most durable defenders since coming into the league.

It appears the Cowboys are serious about upgrading inside. The McCoy deal and the Poe talks come a year after Dallas drafted Trysten Hill in the second round. Poe played five seasons with the Chiefs before catching on with the Falcons in 2017, and his Atlanta season resulted in a three-year Carolina deal worth nearly $30MM. It will not cost the Cowboys that much to bring in Poe.

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DL Mike Pennel Wants To Stay With Chiefs

Chiefs defensive lineman Mike Pennel is set to become an unrestricted free agent, but he made it very clear that he wants to return to Kansas City next season.

“I’d definitely like to stay here,” Pennel told Herbie Teope of KansasCity.com. “I know this is the place where I work well with the coaches, I love the fan base, I love the city and my family stays out here.

“I know it’s a business, but I told my agents and I told everybody in the Kansas City Chiefs organization that I’d like to be back.”

It’s not too surprising to hear this sentiment from Pennel. Besides winning a Super Bowl with the Chiefs, the organization also helped to revitalize the veteran’s career. Following two underwhelming seasons with the Jets, the lineman signed a two-year deal with the Patriots last offseason. However, he didn’t make it to the regular season with New England, and Pennel still found himself out of work in mid-October.

He signed with the Chiefs half way through the season, and he proceeded to compile 24 tackles and one sack in eight games for the team. He also appeared in each of Kansas City’s three playoff games, starting two of them. Most notably, as Teope points out, the Chiefs run defense improved immensely as the season went on, with Pennel earning some praise for his play.

“Mike’s been huge in regards to the strength to our interior run defense, and playing stout and playing with leverage,” said general manager Brett Veach. “You can never have enough of those bodies, so when you have another guy that is talented as Mike, it’s a big deal.”

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Chiefs To Sign Pennel, Release McClain

The Chiefs have signed veteran defensive tackle Mike Pennel, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). To make room, they released fellow DT Terrell McClain

Pennel, 28, was a staple of the Jets’ up-and-down defense in 2017 and 2018. Before that, he spent the first three years of his career with the Packers and appeared in 37 games (five starts). He also ran into some unfortunate trouble while in Green Bay. In 2016, he served a pair of four-game bans for substance abuse. The second suspension was supposed to be for ten games, but Pennel managed to get the second suspension reduced.

With the Chiefs, he’ll occupy the depth role that was filled by McClain over the last couple of weeks. This week, Pennel will take on his old team – the Packers – on Sunday Oct. 27.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Notes: 10/8/19

Here are today’s workout updates. There are a number of notable names on this list, so pay attention!

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins