The decision was among the hardest of his career, but Lovie Smith said the signing of Julius Peppers signals the end of Adewale Ogunleye's tenure with the Bears.
"That was a tough day. That was one of my harder days as a coach, for the Bears, because Adewale was a real man. He was there every day I've been there," Smith said of Ogunleye, whom the club traded for in 2004. "That was a tough call. He's family. He's a friend for life, and to call him and let him know we were going in a different direction. I know you have to do it, but that was personal right there."
Smith said he believes Ogunleye, though, will get another NFL job.
"He'll get on with someone else," he said, "and I still feel like he can play."
Ogunleye is 32 years old, and he had 6.5 sacks in 2009.