It's official: Bears release Brown

Alex Brown believes he's still in his prime. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears released defensive end Alex Brown on Thursday.

"I enjoyed my time, and I appreciate the Bears for giving me the opportunity to play," Brown told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday morning. "The city of Chicago, there wasn't a better place to spend eight years of football. I got to see a lot of highs and lows and had a lot of fun with all of it."

Brown, 30, had two years left on his existing contract and was due to collect $10.5 million in those final two seasons.

Once word got out last week that the Bears were planning to move forward without the popular veteran, it became increasingly difficult for the organization to find any trade partners. Teams knew if they waited, Brown would end up as a free agent.

Before Brown became aware of the Bears' intentions, a source said his agent approached the team a little over a month ago about a contract extension. The Bears immediately shot down the request, sources familiar with the situation told ESPNChicago.com.

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