Chicago made it official Thursday: Defensive end Alex Brown has been released after eight years with the team. The news release offered no context about the decision, and so many media types have been left to speculate why the Bears would release a durable and still-productive starter a few months shy of his 31st birthday.
Here are the primary opinions and analysis on the topic. Feel free to add yours in the comments section below.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune noted the Bears would have been dedicating nearly $30 million to their defensive ends in 2010 if Brown had remained with the team. Although there is no salary cap this year, the Bears have a cash budget that probably needed some relief. Defensive end was a position of surplus.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com reported the Bears rebuffed Brown's request for a contract extension in February. Sometimes an episode like that can speed up the separation process.
I wondered if the Bears plan to play newcomer Julius Peppers primarily at Brown's right end position. Coach Lovie Smith has said Peppers will switch between both sides, but the reality is Brown might not have gotten on the field much if Peppers ends up on the right side.