After eight strong seasons in the navy and orange, defensive end Alex Brown was a salary cap casualty following the 2009 season. The Chicago Bears couldn't justify his contract and were forced to cut him.
Brown signed a two-year contract with the Saints and played every game last year as the team's starter. In training camp this year, he had been getting all of the first-team reps in New Orleans and has started all three preseason games.
Yet, according to Sportrac, Brown is scheduled to make $3 million this season. Apparently that is too much money for the Saints. Brown posted on his Twitter account today that he's been released from the team.
DE Alex Brown
Kevin C. Cox/Getty
"It saddens me to say that I have been released from the Saints because their a first class organization and I will miss it. Good luck to the guys and Who Dat Nation keep roaring... My family and I had a blast here.. Thanks," Brown wrote.
The Bears are very thin at the defensive end position right now. Corey Wootton is still out with a knee injury and the team just cut Vernon Gholston. If Wootton's injury lingers into the regular season, the team could end up with two undrafted rookies backing up up starters Israel Idonije and Julius Peppers. It's gotten so bad, the coaches have been using defensive tackles to fill in the defensive end positions during practice.
Last season, Brown had just 32 tackles and 2.0 sacks. Obviously, he's in the twilight of his career but it would not hurt the team to bring him back for a veteran minimum contract and have him serve as a backup. During his time in Chicago, Brown was the consummate professional. He always worked hard and was a well-respected leader in the locker room. Even when the coaches made the misguided decision to promote Mark Anderson ahead of him to start the 2007 season, Brown handled the situation with class and never threw his team under the bus.
Many of his former teammates still play with the Bears, so it's safe to say they will be lobbying to bring Brown back in the fold. One would assume he'd like to come back and finish out his career where he was drafted. It's a win-win situation with little risk. The situation seems almost too good to be true and it would be negligent for the team not to pursue him.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.