Bears release DT Toeaina

Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina started 24 games during his five seasons with the Bears. AP Photo/Greg Trott

The Chicago Bears released defensive tackle Matt Toeaina on Tuesday.

The Bears asked Toeaina to take a pay cut last month, and the five-year veteran refused. Toeaina, who played in just three games last season, had lingering knee problems that eventually required arthroscopic surgery and was placed on injured reserve Dec. 17.

Toeaina was entering the final year of a three-year extension he signed with the Bears at the end of the 2010 season. He was set to earn $760,000 in base salary, a $290,000 roster bonus and a $75,000 workout bonus with a salary-cap number of $1,625,000. The Bears will carry $500,000 worth of dead money toward this year's cap with the move.

Toeaina had a career-high 33 tackles in 10 starts with the Bears in 2010. He started 12 games in 2011 but lost his starting job to Stephen Paea.