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Bears' Pernell McPhee still hurt over breakup with Ravens

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee admitted on Thursday that he’s still a little disappointed over his 2015 departure from the Baltimore Ravens in free agency.

“If your girlfriend or your wife leaves you, that’ll hurt, right?” McPhee said. “OK. That answers that question.”

Sunday marks McPhee’s first game back in Baltimore since the Bears signed him to a five-year contract with $15.5 million in guarantees -- money that McPhee has long since collected.

The veteran’s current deal is out of guaranteed money, but he’s still making $7.325 million in 2017, and has the second-highest cap number on the defense ($7.825 million) behind defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who just signed an extension.

But McPhee’s career began in Baltimore, where he won a Super Bowl ring (2012) and set a career-high in sacks (7.5) in 2014. Still, the Ravens did not offer McPhee a new contract when he became an unrestricted free agent, knowing that he would receive better offers elsewhere that Baltimore would have no interest matching.

“It is what it is, but like I said, I’m just very thankful that Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh gave me the chance to become a Raven and see how it was to be a Raven,” McPhee said. “That’s the best feeling I got out of it.”

McPhee, 28, is more of a rotational player these days for Chicago after experiencing knee problems over the last three years. The last dominant stretch McPhee enjoyed occurred in his first season with the Bears. Since then, McPhee has shown occasional flashes, but nothing sustainable week-to-week.

Look for McPhee, however, to have a decent role on Sunday.

After spending the entire preseason on the PUP list -- again -- McPhee’s weekly snap count has gone up in recent weeks -- maybe too much, according to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who said on Thursday, “It’s a concern. We probably loaded him up a little too much this past game, but that’s kind of the way the game was going. We’d like to not have to play him too much, but we’ll see how it goes.”

With Willie Young no longer part of the outside linebacker rotation -- Chicago placed Young on injured reserve on Tuesday -- McPhee played a season-high 45 snaps in last Monday night’s 20-17 loss to Minnesota. It was a number even McPhee seemed taken aback by.

“S---, I didn’t even know I played 45 snaps, so you counted them?” McPhee asked a reporter.

“Well, I ain’t counting ‘em, man. To tell you all the truth, I just like to play football. If it’s 45 or 100, I got enough resource enough to know how to take care of my body. If it’s 40 or 50, I’ll be all right. I know how to take care of myself.”