Chicago Sun-Times

Mike Brown -- to bring him back, or not?

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We interrupt this quarterback search—the Bears have already begun looking for their starter in 2008, right—to ring in the New Year with an issue of a different kind.

The Bears need to make a decision on what to do with veteran safety Mike Brown. The former Pro Bowl selection is signed through this next season, but it’s unknown if the organization has reached a decision on how to proceed with him after he appeared in just the season opener when he tore the ACL in his left knee.

The team captain has appeared in only 21 games over the last four seasons, missing a whopping 43. This, after not missing a game during the first four seasons of his career. It is believed Brown, who will be 30 when next season begins, desires to continue playing. He’s been knocked out in recent years by a torn Lisfranc ligament in his foot and a torn Achilles tendon. All different injuries.

``I think you have to look at the player,’’ coach Lovie Smith said Monday. ``Grant Hill was banged up for a lot of years and in the end, right now he is a player who is playing in the [NBA], he’s healthy and being very productive. Mike has had different injuries, but it hasn’t been the same one. I think you get to a point where you fix a lot of things and you should have a pretty good player. Hopefully that will be the case with Mike.

``Mike Brown, the entire time he has been here, the only thing that has stopped him from being a good football player consistently has been injuries. A healthy Mike Brown? Of course, we would love to have him.’’

Money really is not the issue. Brown earned $2.44 million this season and is on the books for the same next year. The Bears considered going to him to re-do the deal this past offseason, and they would have guaranteed that amount had he stayed healthy. Coming off the Super Bowl appearance everyone was feeling good, and the decision was made not to ask him to take a pay cut in the event he was injured again.

The Bears can approach him about restructuring the deal to give them a little protection in the event he's hurt again, but in the big picture of the salary cap, we're not talking about much here. Brown could always tell the team to go fly a kite if he was asked to take a pay cut, too.

The decision comes down to whether or not the organization believes he can help it achieve goals in 2008, or if it is time to make a clean break and move forward regardless of how he's revered as a person and leader.

If the coach’s opinion matters, and you bet Smith has strong input in personnel decisions, the Bears may take one more shot with Brown next season. One thing is certain, they will have more depth in place in the event injuries strike again.

Happy New Year to all readers and thanks for the input during the season. We’ll keep this rolling throughout the offseason.

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22 Comments

First off, let me say I love Mike Brown as a BEAR and as a Football player. The man has been hit with some hard luck the past few seasons, but when he's on the field he is our leader, hands down. I say bring him back but don't let that stop Angelo from bringing in a bone-crunching safety to let receivers know he's around when they come over the middle. Use Mike early in the year in the nickel and dime packages in place of Hillimeyer to take some of the stress off his body until he fully recovers. No matter what happens Mike Brown will be at the top of the record book for the BEARS when it comes to playmaking, leadership, and defensive scoring. Mike Brown will always be a BEAR, like Walter, Gale, and Butkus.

The Bears have absolutely nothing to lose by bringing back
Mike Brown, if they decide to let him go they have everything to lose. Bring him back for '08 and if he goes down again God Bless Him! I get chills when I think of the great things Mike Brown has done for the Chicago Bears.

Mike Brown is what has always given the Bears and opportunity to be just great to downright dominant. Mike was a Bob Sanders type safety before there was a Bob Sanders. He simply is still the most complete safety in the NFL!! There should be no question of whether or not to bring Mike back, and just like Rex Grossman on offense, he should be our leader on Defense next season and for howevor long we can keep convincing him to come back!

Yes bring him back but restructure his deal. He's been way too fragile. Besides, what else can the Bears do when Smith wouldn't know a good safety if one fell on him. This season was awful. The lack of good coaching was crystal clear, again!

Man don't be no fool Mike Brown is the best. I like the Grant Hill example. Oh by the way you don't count birthday years for Mike, you count NFL season to put a age on Mike. Make the right decision bring Mike Brown back. And pull the 'Ginsue Knife' out and cut Adam Archuletta. That softie of a safety scared to tackle running backs. He's a BUM!!!!

Should Da Bears bring Mike Brown back? Absolutely! Why wouldn't they? Because of injuries? This is football! Injuries happen. I can see if he continued to struggle with one nagging injury. This is not the case. Three seperate injuries, all occurred during great safety play. Any player on any team can get injured during any play of the game. The main question is "Can he still be productive"? And that is a big fat "Yes"! A whole lot more than the safeties we have out there now. And more than any safety that is available to bring in. Yes, bring Mike back and don't mess with his money in any way. He's earned it.

Absolutely !! He's a refresher course in how the game should be played, a course most of the defensive players desperately need.

BRING BACK A GREAT PLAYER AND LEADER IN MIKE BROWN.

Keep Brown..but please..Cut/trade/set on fire Benson

Save money by canning Archuleta, and give Mike Brown another chance. The intangibles he brings are more than any of the stench that Lovie's pal Adam Archuleta bought to Chicago.

I would sign Mike Brown under one condition, if he decides to lowest offer on the contract. Then I would not start him until maybe weeks 8 or 9 just to make sure he doesn't get hurt in case if the Bears need him for the playoffs, he would be at least a hundred percent. If he does not except the offer sheet, then I would get rid of him.

Bring him back, he is the best when healthy for sure.

Brian Urlacher firmly believes in Mike Brown. They have proven to play at elevated levels, including maintaining a top 5 defense in the league. It would be difficult to change that chemistry. The Bears need him and I believe he needs the Bears as well, at least to prove that he still has it.

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that someone mixed my comments on Mike Brown with some guy named Bob, I just wanted you guys to know that if it is possible to fix the error. I had the long paragraph about Mike being like Bob Sanders, not about him being fragile which I would NEVER say! Thanks for your help.

Mike Brown is worth the risk of another injury. I'm proud to be a fan of someone that works so hard and plays to win.

Has anyone ever head the saying "past results don't alter future probabilities"? What it means is that getting three 'tails' in a row flipping a coin doesn't change the probabilities of getting tails on a fourth try. It is still 50/50. The same is true about Mike Brown...anyone who thinks his past injuries have anything to do with future injuries is mistaken. Each injury he has had has been unique and different from the rest. The situation would be different if he kept injuring the same body part which then may indicate an actual compromised asset.

My point is the Bears need to keep Brown. He's under contract, likely will restructure, and cutting him only makes sense if you can replace him with an equally talented player like a Dawkins or Sanders which won't happen. So keep him as if he's the guy you would keep as the lowest player on the depth chart, the guy that normally never sees the field. But treat him like number one on the depth chart. So if he gets hurt, you don't miss him. But if he's healthy, he's invaulable. It would be just the Bears luck to cut him and have the Packers or someone sign him and he goes on to have a Pro Bowl year. Injuries are flukes and another team would surely take a chance on him so the Bears should too. This is a simple decision in my opinion...but these are the Bears so...I thought Thomas Jones was an easy decision too but we all know where he went to.

I agree with Illmatic..... Ginsue Archuleta (save us the pain of watching him NOT tackle people next season)and bring back one of if not THE inspirational leader of the defense. He's signed through next season any way so what have we got to lose?

Come on! We're set at safety, we have the future hall of famers Adam Archuletta & Daniel Manning there. Now if you'll excuse me, I must refill my scotch. Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch, down it goes.

Without Mike Brown the Bears secondery looks lost. Mike Brown is a leader and everone knows it. Bringing him back is a must. The team loves him and so do the fans. He is one of the hardest hitting safties in the NFL. Archuleta is a bust and must be cut and I hate having to say that but the team is better without him. Just look at the imrovement the team has had since McGowan became the starting S.S.. If the Bears screw up and let him go it will come back to haunt them. After all of that they still need to add a saftey throught the draft with one of those 2 third round picks just incase the football gods strike down one of the best players to ever put on a Bears uniform.

Definitely bring Mike Brown back next year. The number of injuries he has suffered in the past few years is unfortunate, be he also has not had the wear and tear of full NFL seasons those years. With his level of play when he is healthy and his leadership on the field, I think you have to bring him back. If you want to save some money, get rid of Archuleta and Benson. Honestly, I think Benson's attitude is a cancer to this team. If he was as good as (only) he seems to think he is, he would already be in Canton, and he isn't close, unless it is Canton, IL.

JUST REMEMBER HOW THE INJURE OCCURRED A ILLEAGAL BLOCK BY (O'NEAL) OF S.D.. KEEP HIM TO STOP THE .

This goes to Rob Cooper, first off, it was an easy decision to get rid of thomas jones. You cant draft a running back with the 4th pick of the draft and expect to keep jones. It doesnt matter that it back fired. They were paying benson all that money so they had to. Same thing happened to Brees in San Diego, back fired but they had to. As for Brown, I love him, every time he plays, he always plays to the crowd, he gets the fans fired up and he makes plays, he's the leader of the defense when hes out there, He is the most important player on that D when he is healthy. More then Urlacher, i love urlacher but brown is the glue that holds the defense together.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 31, 2007 5:31 PM.

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