Defensive end Alex Brown said Wednesday that he's heard from three teams since being released by the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, and he said the team that drafted him, the Chicago Bears, is among the three.
But a Bears source said it's unlikely Brown will rejoin the team with which he spent his first eight seasons.
"I talked with my agent, and three teams have made contact," Brown said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "We're just trying to figure out what's best for my family and what's a really good situation for me to go in.
"I would love to go play in a 4-3 (defensive scheme), so there are a lot of teams out there that still run a 4-3 that could use a defensive end that still has a little bit left. So hopefully I can find a good place that my family and I can feel comfortable with."
Brown also mentioned the Carolina Panthers and first-year coach Ron Rivera, who was the Bears' defensive coordinator when the team reached Super Bowl XLI in 2007.
"We're talking (with the Bears)," Brown said. "We have talked to them. We're seeing right now. There are a lot of things going on right now as far as cuts and people trying to get their rosters down, so we're trying to see. We're trying to see what's the best situation.
"Being I spent so much time there, and I know the system, and I know the coaches, Coach (Lovie) Smith is obviously a great guy I know I can talk to and trust, so that would be great. Carolina would be great, too, with Coach Rivera out there. That would be awesome. The door here isn't closed with the New Orleans Saints. We have a few options, and we'll wait and see what is best."
Brown praised the Saints, but added it might be hard going back to a team that released him. The Bears released Brown on April 1, 2010, but whatever bitterness remains might be smoothed over by Brown's relationship with Smith.
"Did Alex leave on a good note here? Yes," Smith said Tuesday. "Alex Brown is a lifetime friend. I pull for him, was planning on pulling for him 15 games this season (the Bears face New Orleans in Week 2).
"We've seen Alex. Alex has been here before. We like our guys we have right now. There's great competition with the guys we have on our roster right now."
Brown said after he tweeted the news that he was being released Tuesday, the flood of responses from Bears fans was "amazing."
"I really appreciated the support, and I really appreciate the love you have for myself and my family and the respect people give me for the way I played," said Brown, who kept his home in Chicago even after signing with New Orleans. "To be wanted back at a place that you spent so much time at, yeah, it's intriguing. I would definitely look at it, but it has to be what's best for my family and what's best for me.
"Hopefully that fits. If it fits, that's what we'll do. If not, we'll do something else. But the fans are awesome."
The former Florida star said: "It would be crazy to do another 'Gator Chop' in Soldier Field. That would be nuts."
Brown said he talked to a few of his former Bears teammates.
"It would be awesome to play with the guys again," he said. "I don't see where it would be a bad situation."
ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson and Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.