Gaines Adams, RIP

What Caused Gaines Adams' Death? (3:52)

Dr. Michael Kaplan on the death of Bears DE Gaines Adams (3:52)

I’m guessing you’ve seen the terrible news Sunday morning out of Greenville, S.C., where Bears defensive end Gaines Adams was pronounced dead at 9 a.m. ET.

AdamsAs of this posting, there are no details available about the circumstances. Adams was 26.

Needless to say, our thoughts and prayers should be with Adams’ family. The Bears’ loss is far less significant, but is nevertheless worth discussing.

The Bears acquired Adams from Tampa Bay last October as a bit of a long-term project. Adams had elite athleticism but hadn’t parlayed that into the sack totals normally expected from the No. 4 overall pick of a draft. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo hoped that some extended tutelage from defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, along with some offseason work in the weight room, would stabilize and elevate Adams’ play.

If so, there likely would have been a starting spot open for Adams in 2010. Veteran Adewale Ogunleye is a pending free agent, and it would have made perfect sense to slide Adams into that role rather than spend the money to bring Ogunleye back.

Make sure you check ESPN Chicago throughout the day as more details emerge.