Source: Bears to release Toeaina

CHICAGO – The Chicago Bears are expected to release defensive tackle Matt Toeaina after he refused to take a pay cut, a league source confirmed to ESPN Chicago on Wednesday.

Toeaina was entering the final year of a three-year extension he signed with the Bears on Dec. 27, 2010. He was on the books to earn a $760,000 base salary, $290,000 roster bonus and $75,000 workout bonus with a salary-cap number of $1,625,000. The Bears will carry $500,000 worth of dead money toward this year’s cap with the move.

Toeaina had a limited role on defense last year as he appeared in only three games with two starts. Known primarily as a run-stopper, Toeaina was placed on injured reserve Dec. 17 because of a chronic knee that injury that required arthroscopic surgery. Toeaina also played through a broken hand last preseason that no doubt affected his performance on the field.

Toeaina’s best year came in 2010 when he started 10 games for the Bears and recorded a career-high 33 tackles and 2.0 sacks. He cracked the starting lineup 12 times the next season but eventually lost his spot to 2011 second-round pick Stephen Paea.