Chicago Sun-Times

With the draft in rear view mirror, ex-Bear Mike Brown still seeking work

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While the Bears held their mandatory veteran minicamp just as soon as possible, most teams have just gotten into the swing of things.

Arizona, Carolina, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Washington all held mandatory full-team minicamps over the weekend.

Meanwhile, veteran safety Mike Brown remains without a team. It's not by choice at this point. Multiple league sources said Brown plans to continue his playing career and one source said he wants to prove that he's still able to perform at the top of his game. The problem he faces right now is the later it gets, and the more teams that go through minicamps and proceed into their offseason programs, the more difficult it is going to be to find work. Teams want to get players up to speed on their schemes and playbook in the spring so they can hit the field running in training camp.

Some thought Brown would land a job quickly after the draft after teams assessed what was on their roster and where they needed to fill holes with a secondary venture into the free-agent market. That has not happened. Whether or not teams have expressed interest in Brown, we don't know, but he could surely be had for the league minimum at this point. Few players signed in May are going to get much different.

Brown, 31, started 15 games for the Bears last season and made 101 tackles, the third-highest total of his career. There are obvious concerns about his durability as he has missed 44 regular-season games over the last five seasons and finished on injured reserve in four of those years. Because the injuries have all been below the waist, there is also concern about Brown's range. But he was never a fast guy to begin with and excelled on intelligence and instinct as much as anything else.

He's not going to fit into the plans for the Bears, who handed out No. 30 on Friday to cornerback D.J. Moore, a fourth-round pick.

"I guess he just passed it down to another great player,'' Moore said.

The Bears feel good about their standing at safety even if coach Lovie Smith said both positions are open.

"We're trying to get as many athletes as we can and give ourselves as many options as possible,'' Smith said of the choices at safety. "We're going to be fine."

Brown has experience with Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache. The Chargers used a sixth-round pick on USC safety Kevin Ellison and the Redskins, who often go the veteran route, went through minicamp without signing Brown. Stay tuned on Brown. More on the Bears' situation at safety in a short while.

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15 Comments

I think every Bears fan has a place in his heart for Mike Brown, but it's time for the Bears to move on with Mike. Hope he lands a job somewhere and hope he finds success, but the Bears need to develop a new free safety.

A great Bear for sure. Who can forget 2001, those two pick-sixes in OT? The problem is he can't play FS and that's what the Bears need.

I hope, with his history of injury, he retires to save his body. He can get right into coaching.

I had hoped that he would get on the Bear coaching staff? Any chance of that happening?

agreeded... coaching might be a next step for him.. too bad but those injuries really caught up with him

I love M Brown..He is on a very short list of my favorite Bears players of all time...and he's close to the top. The reason the Bears wont bring him back is actually a credit to Browns leadership qualities..He is such a great leader on and off the field..that when he gets injured..the team is so dependent on him..that their lost without him..Its like..no one will step up and be that team leader on D while M Browns here...Him not being hear enables someone else to step in and be a vocal leader. It kills me to say all this..But its probably for the better of the team..I hope that he signs somewhere outside the division..and I hope he goes on to have another great couple years..and after that..I hope the Bears bring him back as a coach..and he coaches for us for the next 20 years.

Im not a jersey guy..But to me..its a huge compliment to a player when you say that even if that player is on another team..You can still wear his Bears jersey with pride..Mike Brown is that kinda guy...

#30 on the Bears will always and forever be Mike Brown in my book. Sorry DJ. I hope to see Mike either on the field or sidelines again; it's where he belongs.

Thanks Mike Brown for the memorable seasons from all Bear fans, Good luck and Good health,,,

You are, and always will be, my boy. MIKE BROWN!

Mike Brown is definitely one of my favorite bears players of all time! Mike Brown will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for everything you did for the squad on and off the field. I hope we can bring Brown in on our coaching staff after a year or two, and I hope he finds a place to play this year.

I HATE losing this guy. Him leaving is up there with Singletary retiring in my eyes. That empty feeling in my gut. The guy was so good for so long. He was such great player. We've seen so many in so many positions that we forget how hard it is to find great. He was everything in one that we applauded previous players for being sort of one dimensional for. Hey Plank could hit. Hey Fencik was smart. Hey Carrier could make INTs (and hit hard when the player didn't see it coming) But Mike Brown did all that until his legs gave up. Now him, I can see being a coach down the line. Wasn't the biggest, fastest or sturdiest but I admire him just the same. Other than Urlacher we haven't had a solid all around player like them isnce the 80s. Yeah.. replacing that is going to take another 20 years.

Love Mike Brown. Thanks for all you've done.

If we need a stop-gap @ safety why not look at Rodney Harrison. NE still hasn't resigned him. Nasty attitude with Super Bowl rings...the man knows how to get it done.

Foor for thought...

Mike Brown is to the Bears and their fan base as Kerry Wood was to the Cubs and theirs- in his prime, Borwn was one of the best in the game and quickly became a fan favorite. Unfortunately, much like Wood injurys have taken the best of Brown leaving a productive player instead of a star player...

#30 Is PURE CLASS and will always be, his journey has not even started yet, he will fill his Destiny as a Great Head Coach!
For it is written!!!!!!!!!!!

In a huge off-season that basically restored our faith in Jerry, I think we all agree that cutting Mike was a terrible, terrible move. I will lose my lunch if he signs somewhere in the division.

We should have already offered him a job as the safeties coach and hopefully he can someday be our DC

I've been kicking myself for picking this name for some time... As we didn't lose him as much as stupid Angelo chased him out of town, much like Chris Harris and Tony Parrish were tossed away under Angelo. Mike Brown is indeed my favorite Bear of the modern era and has been since sometime around when he did pushups on the field after dropping a sure interception against Arizona I believe in 2001... Without even the presence of Mike Brown, I have much fear for our secondary and our defense as a whole. I am still holding out hope they throw him a bone before it gets too late... theres still another $12 mil to throw around right? Come on!!! It's a crime that some rookie is being given #30 and an even bigger crime that our defensive captain wasn't allowed to finished his career a Bear... Angelo, you've done much good this offseason but this skidmark dirties the entire pool!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 4, 2009 8:31 AM.

NFL's stay in school program snares safety Afalava was the previous entry in this blog.

Possibility of Graham to safety shows confidence in Vasher is the next entry in this blog.

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