Chicago Sun-Times

Tommie Harris says release is "bittersweet"

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Tommie Harris knew this day was coming.

On Monday, the Bears released Harris, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who was the 14th overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft.

"I kind of knew. It's nothing personal," he said. "I want to thank the McCaskeys. I want to tell my fans I love them, and I'm going to miss the city and my teammates. I think it's one of the best locker rooms in the NFL."

Asked if he was disappointed by the decision, Harris said, "I'm not disappointed at all.

"I'm ready to start all over. But it's one of those bittersweet deals."

Asked if the Bears asked him to take a pay cut, Harris said, "My race was finished.

"It was done with the Bears."

Once one of the league's most dominant defensive tackles, Harris hasn't reached the Pro Bowl since 2007, largely because of injuries. But Harris said he started to feel better toward the end of the 2010 season.

"I think my best football is ahead of me. I haven't hit my prime yet," said Harris, 27. "I didn't start feeling good until the end of the season."

As for Bears coach Lovie Smith, Harris had nothing but positive comments.

"We ended well," Harris said. "I respected him."

Harris said teams have already expressed an interest in him, and he may find a new NFL home sooner than later, presumably before a new CBA is worked out.

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You know Tommie is a very likable guy but at the end of the last three seasons he always says the same thing.

"I think my best football is ahead of me. I haven't hit my prime yet," said Harris, 27. "I didn't start feeling good until the end of the season."

It doesn't take three years to come back from an injury and the doctors said what his problems would be when the Bears drafted him. "He has the knees of a 40 year old man. He was never explosive again after that massive muscle tear he had. There have been a few players who suffered that injury and none of them have ever been the same.

Good luck to him, but he just wasn't earning that paycheck in Chicago anymore.

It's a good cut for the Bears.

You'll be greatly missed Tommie Harris. I think there are bigger and better things in store for you. Remember always, always keep a positive minds. Stay humble, be blessed and Good Luck

What gets me about this is he was not rehabbing at all this past offseason. he was fully cleared to participate in the offseason program, and they treated him with kid gloves on top of that. How does it take 10 months to get to where you are ready to play? Guys play 6 months after an ACL injury, and Tommie did not have anything that severe. His explosion was gone, and his effectiveness was just not there.

As far as his effort, he didn't look like he was in shape, and he got winded quickly during games. He couldn't stay on the field. The coaches said he did everything they asked of him. Maybe they should have asked for a lot more, and Tommie would have had a chance to "grow up" as he put it, and be the player and the man he should have been here. I put a lot of the blame for this on Lovie, Marinelli, and Angelo, almost as much as I put it on Tommie. Once he got paid, he got hurt. Once he got hurt, he got soft, and never pulled out of it.

If a team signs him, they had better have a butt-kicker for a DL coach, or you will never get the max effort out of players, especially a guy like Tommie, who was able to get by on his quick first step for so long. Once that was gone, he didn't develop the counter move. He got stoned at the line, and manhandled by single blockers. He should have been able to do more.

This cut looks good now when you look at the numbers and the $$$$$, but what happens if he gets healthy and regains that form, will BEARS bloggers kill Angelo for cutting the guy too soon! This is a no WIN situation in Chicago, Keep Tommie everyone bitches, if we don't replace him with someone better everyone bitches, so what do we do. I've heard of a few FA's names that heva been brought up, Haynesworth (Not Yet!), Stroud, and Shawn Rodgers, these guys will be looking for a contract also, so the market for vetrean tackles will be plentiful for Angelo and the boys to choose from. Here's hoping they find another Buben Brown in a bottle for the next season.

Tommie; I have always been a supporter of yours, and hope that you regain your form, but if you really loved Chicago you would re-sign a more reasonable contract with incentives that get you paid if you get back to your pro-Bowl form. This decsion is not all the fault of the BEARS front office, its yours as well Tommie, you've got to know that right now you aren't worth the $5 million they would have to pay you on your recent stats alone...So if God is talking to you maybe he's telling you to come on back for a more reasonable price.....Go BEARS......

I have found the greatest story ever. In my corner me and the Cutlers crew in the other corner Brando. Brando what were you thinking? I new I should have paid more attention to you but I never thought it would come to this. Brando drinking and running around a parking lot naked will never you get you anywhere. Well maybe President of a Frat house, but that is neither here nor there.

Story of the year. Pulitzer,0,4774637.story

Chi Tommie was replaced he wasn't a starter this year. I think he started like two or three games. Besides Bears fans and bloggers did not decide to cut Tommie the Bears did. And they where right to do it. It was either Tommie was never going to full recover from his past injuries, which happens, or he was dogging it. Those are really the only two things it could have been. They gave him 3 years to recover, that's more than enough time. And I don't think he was doggin it, but who knows Smith got mad at him a couple of times in 09.

As for the players you named.

Stroud is done he hasn't had a good year since the steriod bust.

Haynesworth + Marinelli= disaster.

Rogers, there is no chance he will play for Marinelli, none. Marinelli doesn't like him and he don't like Marinelli. Remember he ws in Detroit with Rod when Rod forced a trade to get rid of him.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on February 28, 2011 2:20 PM.

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