Bears Cut Moose; Extend Brown

The Chicago Bears signed Muhsin Muhammad to big money before the 2005 season because they were in desperate need of a No. 1 receiver. But now 34 years old and no longer capable of being a go-to guy, Muhammad was released Monday. The move will save $2.1 million against the salary cap.

Per the Chicago Bears:

LAKE FOREST, IL – The Chicago Bears agreed to terms on a two-year extension with DE Alex Brown today. The deal extends Brown's contract through the 2011 season. The Bears also released veteran WR Muhsin Muhammad.

Brown has totaled 405 tackles, 31.5 sacks, 37 tackles for losses, four interceptions, 25 pass break ups, 15 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries while playing in a team-high 95 consecutive games over the first six seasons of his career. The University of Florida product's 31.5 sacks are ninth most in franchise history and second among active Bears (Brian Urlacher, 37.5).

Muhammad recorded 2,183 receiving yards on 164 receptions with 12 touchdowns in 47 starts over the course of three seasons with the Bears. In 12 NFL seasons, Muhammad has 742 receptions for 9,934 yards and 56 touchdowns.

JC's Take: Muhammad did average 14.3 yards on his 40 receptions this past season and authored his fair share of highlight-reel plays, but this move was pretty much inevitable.

Bernard Berrian – soon to be an unrestricted free agent – took over as the No. 1 receiver in the Windy City, which means that it's now even more important to keep him. Mark Bradley has a ton of potential but doesn't seem to know what to do with it, and Devin Hester only has one year of pass-catching exprerience under his belt after entering the league as a cornerback.

Muhammad served his purpose for three seasons as a veteran on the gridiron and a leader in the locker room, but he's well past his prime and would only have blocked the development of younger players on the roster going forward.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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