Chicago Sun-Times

Safety alert: Mike Brown making free-agent visit to Kansas City

| 32 Comments | No TrackBacks

mbrown03.jpg


One safety with Chicago ties is expected to announce his retirement today.

Another will look for a new place to continue his career.

Rodney Harrison, the Markham native and former star at Marian Catholic, is expected to reveal on a conference call that he will move from the secondary to the broadcast end of the business. Meanwhile, ex-Bear Mike Brown will make a free-agent visit to the Kansas City Chiefs today, a league source told the Sun-Times.

One of the most popular players in post-Super Bowl XX franchise history, the Bears bid goodbye to Brown after this past season when his contract expired. Five years younger than Harrison at 31, Brown is looking to catch on with the Chiefs, who have been re-tooling their defense but lack depth in the secondary. A contract offer is possible and the timing would be ideal as Kansas City's mandatory minicamp is this weekend. Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard are the projected starters but Brown could push them for a job immediately.

Whether he was in San Diego or New England, Harrison was considered a leader, and no one questioned Brown's unquestioned status as the leader and pulse of the Bears' defense for most of the past decade. The only time Brown didn't lead was when he was sidelined by injury, something that happened more than anyone cared for over the last five seasons. Brown missed 44 regular-season games from 2004 to 2008, but was so indispensible when he was on the field that the Bears kept going back to him. A calf muscle injury cut last season short for him by one game.

Brown was one of those rare players that commanded the respect of everyone. Others still rave about him long after they have moved on. With his future uncertain, this last season was trying for him. Brown rebuffed multiple interview requests over the final months as he knew where the questions would lead.

"Mike is a warrior in every sense of the word,'' Washington defensive coordinator Greg Blache said in late December. "He may play a step slower than other guys and an inch shorter but he is still one of the most impactful safeties in his time in the league and it is because he understands the game and he understands the team concept and he has intangibles.

"He is what every Dad would wish his son would be. Not that he's better or different than my sons, he's what you would want a son to be. He's a man. It comes across in all of the things he does.''

Multiple teams are known to have had internal discussions regarding Brown but his injury history is a major obstacle. Prior to a torn ACL in the 2007 season opener, he had a torn Lisfranc ligament and a torn Achilles tendon, all lower body injuries that some believe have robbed him of what range he had. Brown was never a player that got by on tremendous athletic ability, rather one who was instinctive, smart and prepared, similar in that way to Harrison.

Brown was selected to one Pro Bowl after the 2005 season and was an All-Pro choice in 2001, his second season and the first year he was exposed to new Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, then the Bears' wide receivers coach. He is the Bears' franchise leader with seven career defensive touchdowns, a testament to his nose for the ball and playmaking ability.

The Bears are not just hoping to find a free safety this summer, they're going to need someone to step into a leadership role, especially in the secondary. They opened OTA's last month by switching Corey Graham from cornerback to free safety. Josh Bullocks and Craig Steltz could all be in the mix. While the Bears still might venture out to seek help at wide receiver, it appears safety will be handled in-house.

Certainly the Bears will have their eyes on Brown if he lands in Kansas City.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/23302

32 Comments

He was the heart and soul of our team and by far my favorite Bear for the past decade. It's going to be difficult knowing he isn't on our roster anymore.

Mike Brown is one of those guys I wish could have retired in a Bear jersey. Even though injuries hampered his career, I will always remember him as one of the all time Bear greats and one of my favorites. Good luck in KC. Go Bears!

Mike Brown is a classic case of seperating the personal part with the buisness aspect of the game....

Mike Brown was a great player, teammate, a leader in the locker room and on the field but there is no denying the fact that he isn't the same player he once was and his recurring injury problems made the decision for the Bears to move on not only the right thing to do but a neccessity...

The Bears couldn't afford to go 5-yr's in a row of not being able to rely of Brown to finish a season. As much as it pains us fans and I would venture management as well, the time was right for both sides to move on. I only wished that Mike could be retained with the Bears organization not as a player but as an assistant or coach. Perhaps that can come to pass once he decides his playing days are over !!

Until then, I wish Mike Brown all the best, health and success for the rest of his career.....


Go Bears !!

It would have been worth the re-signing of Mike Brown, period.
When on the field, well...you saw what he was able to do.
In this years defense, he would have thrived. He would have been the Mike Brown of old. This is one position we are still toying around with and will not know who shores it up till the mid point of training camp. With Mike Brown, it was no question.
Im not saying we dont have a good group currently, just that Mike Brown was already established. He was a leader. I wish we could have, at the very least, brought him back as an Asst. Coach for the Secondary. He was also a teacher and Im hoping Kevin Payne, Craig Steltz and the rest of those Safeties were paying close attention to how he played the game. It was never a matter of money for Mike, it was about the game. You dont see that so much anymore.
Mike, best wishes to you and your career. But I hope you could still come back when your playing days are done as a coach on the bears. Chicago will never forget you. GO BEARSSSSS!

The heart says no, but the mind says let him go. He doesn't run with his heart and those wheels have too many miles. He shouldn't quit. In the right situation he could really help somebody.

Good luck Mike. Thanks for all of it.

As a fan when discussing Mike Brown it becomes adversarial because we witnessed each Sunday what he brought to the football field. Perhaps the time was right for management to sever the ties with him and allow him to finish his career with someone else at this point only time will tell. However seeing the gapping hole we still have at safety I’m a bit compelled to at least ask why Bears management failed to consider a one year deal with Mike based on performance. This guy wants to play this game and when he’s engaged and involved in it there are very few people who do it better. I think we’ve given up a great deal of intangibles in this decision. I’m sure both the team and Mike will survive it will be the fans judging for the balance of the season as to weather this was the right thing to do. All that will evolve from how well his replacements play. Personally I’d love to have him as an insurance policy as well.

Congratulations to Rodney Harrison on a successful and long career in football; you've done all of us WIU Leathernecks very proud.

I hope Brown catches on with the Chiefs and has a healthy and productive year. It's going to suck seeing him on another team but he still wants to play and he ain't playing here, so good luck to Brownie!

Does he want a long term contract or a bunch of money or something? I don't really understand why they didn't just sign him, since they have no one better.

Jerry Angelo is a desperate man making desperate moves ...and the cherry on top of his stupidity...booyah!!

only thing certain is the Bears will be a top 32 defense..

and 6-10

i just dont see why the bears cant sign him to a 1 year deal and have him split time at FS with graham or steltz or whomever. i mean at least if he goes down then it wont be like the guy stepping into his place will be at a total loss if they are splitting time and maybe that way he can play the whole year. i dunno just a random thought. if he signs with the chiefs i wish him the best of luck and to have the best year possible.

one of my fav bears of all time. what a guy and what a player! i was praying that we would bring him back for a year. i was really sad when we cut ties with him. good luck to mike beezy in the future and i hope the org can bring him back as a coach when he is doing playing football. GO BEARS!

Brad,
Now that he is on the open market, do you think the Bears will place a call to Greg Ellis' agent? He was never a great fit in the 3-4, and is a solid locker room guy. I think he would give the Bears a great rotation in Wale, Alex, Izzy, and Ellis. Melton could be a special teamer as a rookie, so he can learn the position.

Jerry is one big move away from a Jordan statue in front of Soldier Field at the rate he is improving this team this offseason (ok, not really, but isn't it amazing how one great run can wipe out so much of the bad feelings of the last 5 years?), and this would give the Bears a guy who has been a productive pass rusher. 6'6", 265 is also right in the mold of what the Bears want in a DE. If he pans out, we can end the Mark Anderson experiment, and have 4 blue-collar, 2-way ends that can play the run and the pass.

Just a thought

All of you have said all the positive things about Mike Brown, and know that I agree with some of them.

However, as for why the Bears didn't take a look at him for a 1-year deal, I think it has more to do with roster spots than it does the money. Kevin Payne should hold down the strong safety spot, he performed well, both on the field and on paper. The Bears desire a more coverage-oriented free safety, which explains moving Corey Graham to safety. So that leaves Steltz, Afalava, Graham, D. Manning and Payne as safeties. The Bears would rather sign a CB than hold onto another safety, believing that in Payne and Graham they'll have their solid run supporting SS and a coverage-based FS.

Oh yeah almost forgot...Go Packers!!!!

14-2 with a new D and healthy Rodgers. Booyah!!

Why would you want the leader of the D on the bench all year? Aleader needs to be on the field - no disrespect to Mike as he was great when he was on the field.

By Hitman on June 3, 2009 2:05 PM
"Oh yeah almost forgot...Go Packers!!!!"

"14-2 with a new D and healthy Rodgers. Booyah!!"

Is their really such a thing as a healthy Rodgers? He is a guy who can trip over his own shoes and be out for six months. Gotta love those delicate football players.

Mike Brown was let go because he can't play FS and the Bears are trying to get younger at the same time. He is a Better SS then Payne but his health risk(delicate player)and age made him expendable. Remember Lovie didn't want him playing in the box anymore because thats were he got hurt most often.

Joe Felicelli I am not so sure the team has improved as much as you think. Cutler was a great pickup but he was also expensive, Pace is not Pace of 5 years ago and really is a one year stop gap till they figure out the LT spot. Their is not a single proven WR on the roster and as sad as it sounds they may actually have gotten worse at the position. RT is a question mark and I wonder why Brad has not mentioned how Williams has looked at OTA's. Omiyale is also a question mark and Garza is just plain bad. You also have Olin in decline.

On defense I fail to see any improvment, Harris is getting worse, and Both Safety and one CB position are question marks as well. For the Bears defense to work the front 4 must generate a strong pass rush and without Harris playing really good they can't do it. In fact both DT positions are question marks along with LE. Brown is the one corner stone on the line and he is a good but not great player. Today Harris practiced for half a day but wound up sitting out the second half of practice. If he can't make it through a practice how will he make it through a game? Izzy and Adams were playing DT for the rest of the practice.

Hitman:

Go home to mommy and tell her she is calling you. Mr. Rodgers neighborhood is going to come with a number of challenges that include leading the league in sacks allowed, interceptions, forced fumbles, mediocre passer rating and less than 2500 yards passing. Poor Mr. Rodgers and poor Hitman unfortunately you reversed the actual record the B-- Packers will finish with which will be a 2-14 record.

As for the Queens game for all Chicago Bears bloggers, there probably should be some limitations, maybe 50 to 100 comp tickets. Lets face it without the bloggers help the last few years the Bears would not have made these moves to get people like Cutler.

Do you really think that JA came up with that idea of getting Cutler on his own, nope. It took all of the passion of the bloggers, suggesting that JA lose his job, that JA has never done it with the draft picks or making the big trade. Well look at JA now, the city and the bloggers are ready to put a JA statue in front of Soldier field in his honor. JA, the Bears, the Sun times and the City of Chicago owes it all to us Chicago Bears bloggers for our passion and support of the Bears over the years.

Think of the publicity the Sun times could get with a big party for its bloggers, it makes sense.

For those of you that have supported this idea, thank you and for Brad, you can make this happen, you da man!!!

Mike Brown = Warrior

Mike Brown's biggest mistake was not being drafted by Jerry Angelo, then getting hurt. That being said, I understand the need to get younger at the position, but if younger doesn't equal better, then what are you really doing? Also, keep in mind that Kevin Payne finished his first year on IR with a broken arm and he is currently recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. So let's look behind Payne to see who's gonna start at Strong Safety when he gets hurt again. Your guess is as good as mine.

I would feel better if we had Mike Brown so that Kevin Payne would back him up. We may not miss Mike Brown a lot with Payne playing, but if he gets hurt, God help Al Afalava. Keep your best players, especially when you can do it cheaply.

HE DESERVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE THE GAME ON HIS OWN TERMS!
ANY TRUE BEAR FAN SHOULD AGREE!
I'M NOT MAD AT THE BEARS FOR LETTING HIM GO, AT LEAST THEY WERE HONEST, BUT MIKE BROWN THE HARDHITTING CORNHUSKER SHOULD GO OUT WHEN
HE WANTS, HE HAS TAKEN PAYCUTS, INJURIES, HE HAS BEEN A TEAM PLAYER
THROUGH AND THROUGH, SO MIKE BROWN DO IT YOUR WAY AND I SUPPORT YOU
110%!
THANKS FOR THE EFFORT YOU PUT OUT #30, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE RESPECTED!

welcome to kc mr brown we need you

This is a dangling modifier: One of the most popular players in post-Super Bowl XX franchise history, the Bears bid goodbye . . .

The Bears are not "one of the most . . . ." Brown is.

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcnorth/0-12-12/The-state-of-Tommie-Harris--left-knee.html

article on Harris and his knee/practice problem.

Who really knows what Harris will do but I am ever the pessimist - as I feel if you expect the worst and be prepared for it then you are never surprised, so we drafted dlinemen, include Dusty, and hire Rod and hope Adams/Harrison do the job of Harris/Tank. we are really hoping some guys do come through, Url/Harris/Og (Brown gone) - this D is getting old fast. The Pisa pickup was huge.

although I do feel the Team has improved - look at us last year? This team is miles ahead of last year already, Forte a year under his belt, a probowl QB, Hester a year and a QB, Pace is not the player he was but much better than what we played LT last year as is the new Olinemen, better than what we had last year, maybe thats not saying much, but as a Bears fan its saying alot. the past couple years we went downhill fast, and hey, we are better for the first time in awhile, I will take that as opposed to yelling on the blog about JA not picking up anyone, remember last 2 years? lol
Now the D is a different story, we all feel the O is better, but we will have to wait to see on the D.
Pisa adds alot, but most D positions are questions,
UNTILL we see them play a few games for real.
Not sure some of the D pickups were the greatest either.

Just listen to you insects discuss this and that about MY Chicago Bears. Your pathetic chattering reminds me of termites rustling in the floorboards. You can kind of hear it, but not really.

As far as Mike Brown is concerned, I discussed this issue over and over again with my good buddy Jerry. While no one embodies PASSION (gotta have the PASSION, Hallelujiah!) as Mike Brown did, little green men from outer space, that ONLY I CAN SEE, told me it was best for MY Bears to finally part ways with him. Just like the rest of you mindless mealworms, I too was sorry to see him go. But I'm not going to cry because REAL men with PASSION, don't!

Passion, passion, PASSION!

And Dahlillama, just what do you think you're doing making outrageous claims that "you bloggers" helped MY Bears? Ha! You and your friends are like the buzzing of flies to me! I am the Bears' NUMBER ONE FAN. ME. And everything that happens to MY team, happens through ME, ME, and ME ALONE! Let's say it altogether now, "Yes Mr. Holland, you are correct. Sorry to have doubted your supremacy."

Good.

Yours Truly,
THE Supreme Ultimate Bears Fan, Bill

brad? hello? are you there? taking the day off or what?

if you don't come back soon with some updates i'm heading over to the trib.

Are the Bears really better off without Mike Brown? I know Graham has better range, but I don't think anyone can match his leadership on the defense, even Urlacher. I'm afraid what happened to the offense when Thomas Jones left, will happen to the defense. When Brown was injured the defense wasn't near as good without him on the field. He will be missed. Good luck to him!

I was at the 2001 SanFran game when Mike Brown intercepted a pass in overtime and took it to the house. I was with my mom....she is gone now. It is one of my favorite memories with her. The stadium was electric and we stayed in the stands and cheered for about 45 minutes after the game.

I thank Mike Brown for that. One of the best and favorite all-time Bears.

Every time I hear the name "Mike Brown", I get a little teary-eyed. I wish the team could have kept him on as a reserve, but I suppose that does no good if he's injured there as well. Mike's great gift seemed to simply in the knowledge that he was on the field. Still, if he has any interest in coaching, he'd be a welcome addition in my book.

Mike Brown personified everything that is great about Chicago Bear Football. I also sat through the cold rain at Soldier field and loved it when Brown took it to the house to win the game against the Niners in 2001.

Always remembered and always missed, all the best to you Mike Brown.

As our safety situation is still a little dicey, here's a name to consider: LaRon Landry. According to ESPN, he is skipping all of the offseason activity for the Skins, and may be angling for a trade. If he is on the block at all, Jerry needs to get into the mix. A recent top 10 pick, A 6' 200 lb. free safety with range that can also play in the box is a thing we are missing right now. He started as a strong safety while Sean Taylor was still alive, but has been the free since his passing. Maybe we can offer up Vasher and our second next year, and move Graham back outside when Landry takes the job. Washington could probably use another corner, and Snyder has no problem overpaying someone like Vasher, since he gave MeAngelo $50 mil this offseason. Tillman, Graham, Bowman, Manning, and Moore would be a solid depth chart at CB. McBride is going to struggle to make the roster as it is. Landry, Payne, Steltz, and Bullock is a solid 4 deep position.

Anyway, now that Crazy Jerry is wheeling and dealing, why not finish it off with a free safety, and solve every position problem on the team in one offseason?

As much as I would love to see Mike Brown back there at strong safety, there is no way we can legitimately expect him to make it through 16 games, and you can't bring him in as a depth player. When Mike Brown is on the roster, he's a starter, and a team leader. I still think his best option is to get onto a coaching staff, and he could be a special teams coordinator within 5 years, defensive coordinator 5-10 years after that, and a head coach soon after. This guy is too smart and inspirational to not be a head coach in the NFL. If KC does not sign him, he needs to keep in shape in case someone calls because of injury, but at the same time, he should apply to the internship program for coaching like Larry Whigham did a few years back, and get on the other side of the meeting room to see how he likes it.

Injuries happen all the time and just about every player endures them. You just don't leave out your best at his position player especially when he just played 15 out of 16 games. It's goes beyond that. Like someone said; he has the disadavantage of not being drafted by by Angelo. And if Cutler wasn't traded for you guys would be cutting him up just looking at the experience we have left. Plain and simple, Mike Brown is expendable because he's still worth more than any DB that Angelo has brought to this team on defense including one of my favorites, Tillman. All those guys have been hurt and his diamond always in the rough DB Manning is still not half the player Brown was even in his first season. This is about Jerry's ego,again. A guy sitting on the bench was always better than anyone he had on the field. Guys who know football should know all the intangibles that Brown brings to this team. No one else will be able to line them up and help guys play up to their potential like Brown did. It took us a decade to replace Singletary and before he came it was almost two decades before we found anyone to take Butkus's place. We have never had a safety this good and you can say Richie Pettibon and Gary Fencik all you want. I didn't see Richie play but Gary had a lot of guys who made him look good. Including Plank. Brown helped all those guys in front of him. Not the other way around..

lmao...Culzie is so freaking lonely, he posts under my name and answers himself...epic

I didn't post that about Rodgers and the Packers

but the Bears are a 6-10 organization...0k, 7-9 at best

I absolutely cannot wait for football season...always good to watch the X Bears do what Jerry says they can't do..

golly gee..all those WR's he "didn't have" are all starting somewhere else for better teams

this year...Orton and Brown

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 3, 2009 12:03 AM.

Getting their kicks: Bears to put punters through workout was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears could consider practice jersey patches, state lotto deal is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.