Bears release Holdman

The Bears continued a busy Wednesday by releasing LB Warrick Holdman and re-signing FB Stanley Pritchett to a one-year contract.

In the end the Bears weren't able to workout a trade for Holdman, so they released the 1999 fourth-round draft pick. He was often slowed by injury during his five years in Chicago ending two campaigns on Injured Reserve.

Holdman's best season came in 2001 when he was the team's second-leading tackler. Following that year Holdman became a restricted free agent. However Jerry Angelo failed to check the proper box that would have guaranteed compensation for any team that tried to sign Holdman and the Bears ended up having to overpay the weakside linebacker.

While trying to save face, Angelo matched a 4-year $12 million offer by the Kansas City Chiefs. In the end, that deal is why the Bears are not keeping Holdman, who registered 79 tackles in 13 games last season which ranked seventh on the team (third among linebackers).

Holdman recorded 412 tackles in five seasons with the Bears and also forced eight fumbles, recorded one interception, one fumble recovery and had 3.5 sacks. He played in 59 games (47 starts) during the past five seasons.

Terms of the Pritchett signing have not been disclosed at this time, but the money won't impact the Bears plans in free agency.

Pritchett is more of a pass catching fullback then a lead blocker. He started 10 of 16 games for the Bears in 2003 and finished in the top five on the team in both rushing and receiving with 21 carries (fifth) for 93 yards (4.4 ypc) with two touchdowns and 18 receptions (fifth) for 83 yards (4.6 ypr). With the recent release of Phillip Daniels and Kordell Stewart, Pritchett is now the second oldest member of the team at 30. The elder statesman is 38-year-old Chris Chandler.

The eight-year NFL veteran has spent the last three seasons in Chicago following a one-year stop in Philadelphia and four seasons in Miami.

Originally drafted by Miami in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 1996 NFL Draft, Pritchett established his career receiving high in his final season with the Dolphins (1999), catching 43 passes for 312 yards and followed with his career-high rushing effort the following season in Philadelphia (2000), carrying 58 times for 225 yards.


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