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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ex-UH linebacker Tinoisamoa to sign with Bears

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Pisa Tinoisamoa, a former University of Hawai'i linebacker who was a free agent, signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears.

Another Hawai'i product, sixth-round draft pick Al Afalava of Kahuku High and Oregon State, also signed with the Bears.

Tinoisamoa, who was cut by the St. Louis Rams despite leading the team in tackles (104) last season, also visited Buffalo and New England.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Tinoi-samoa, 27, played at around 220 last season. He will be reunited with Chicago head coach Lovie Smith, the Rams' defensive coordinator in 2003.

Tinoisamoa will likely start at strong-side linebacker, joining all-pros, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, although incumbent Nick Roach and former starter Hunter Hillenmeyer will also be in the mix.

Tinoisamoa (at UH from 2000-02) averaged 88 tackles per season while starting 47 of 48 games his first three NFL years.

"He's been a real productive player," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said on www.chicagotribune.com. "We don't, at this point, need any position. But any time we have a chance to add a good football player, we're going to look at all positions."

Tinoisamoa was a two-time all-Western Athletic Conference linebacker and 2002 team MVP. He was drafted in the second round by the Rams in 2003.

Tinoisamoa has 661 total tackles, 10 sacks, seven interceptions, 25 pass break-ups, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career.

The Bears also locked up defensive tackle Israel Idonije, who had 28 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks last season, with a two-year extension.