Veteran safety Mike Brown stopped Sunday at the end of the team's three-day minicamp to talk for the first time since rupturing the ACL in his left knee during the season opener last September at San Diego.
He's been cleared for a full return and looked like his old self, stepping in front of a hot read for Rashied Davis and picking off a Kyle Orton pass in team drills. Brown was off to the races for an imaginary touchdown to the delight of teammates.
"I guess you could say I’m surprised," he said when asked if he thought he would be back after a fourth injury-shortened year. "But I think the coaching staff and the guys that make the decisions upstairs know what type of football player I am when I’m healthy.
"I have one more year left on the contract, plus I took the pay cut and what not. I don’t think it was that hard of a decision for them."
The Sun-Times reported last month that Brown agreed to restructure the final year of his contract. His base pay of $2.44 million was reduced to $950,000. Brown can earn the difference of $1.49 million in a NLTBE bonus that is based on play time. A split was added to the deal, too, so Brown will be paid only $320,000 if he is injured before the season begins.
"I think it’s fair," he said. "I think it’s definitely fair because they’re giving me an opportunity to make what I signed my contract to make. They’re giving me an opportunity, I just have to be on the field and I think that’s totally fair. I don’t think they’re losing out on anything and I don’t think I’m losing out on anything because I feel like I will be able to play.
For more on Brown, see Monday's edition.