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Bears trying out big DT Mike Pennel, TE Jake Butt, 3 others

Divisional Round - Cleveland Browns v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are in the middle of their only mandatory minicamp this offseason and they have five players there on a try-out basis. Five is the max they are allowed under the NFL rules, and with one open spot on the 90-man offseason roster these guys will be trying to prove they belong.

Here’s the list of players that were practicing at Halas Hall yesterday.

Mike Pennel, DT - With Eddie Goldman still not back after opting out of the 2020 season, the inclusion of the 30-year old Pennel takes on a bigger meaning. The 6’4”, 330 pounder has played some nose tackle during his 7 year career, and he was an active part of the Chiefs’ d-line rotation a year ago by playing in 30% of their defensive snaps.

Jake Butt, TE - The 90th player the Bears released was tight end Darion Clark, so Butt will be looking to slide right into that spot. Injuries have impacted the former 5th-round pick’s career, but at just 25-years old he could have some football left in him if he’s healthy.

E.J. Gaines, CB - Form 2014 to 2018 Gaines started 38 of the 43 games he played in (Rams, Bills, Browns), but he missed all of 2019 with an injury and he opted out of the 2020 season.

Sal Cannella, TE - Canella was most recently playing in The Spring League, and he played his high school ball at St. Viator with Bears tight end Cole Kmet.

Tyrone Wheatley Jr., OL - Wheatley also played in The Spring League recently, and he’s fairly new to the offensive line after playing tight end in college.

I’m assuring these five will be at Halas Hall for the full camp, but if they swap in some different players we’ll update this article.