Alex Brown never went to a Pro Bowl in eight seasons as a member of the Chicago Bears, but he was a popular player on and off the field and never wanted to leave.
The Bears release Brown in April 2010 after signing Julius Peppers to the largest contract in franchise history. Brown wound up playing that season with the New Orleans Saints. He sat out last year and now he’ll fulfill his wish of ending his career as a Bear.
Brown signed with the Bears on Wednesday and will retire from the team tonight in a pre-game ceremony at Soldier Field prior to the exhibition against the Denver Broncos. It was a classy move by the club and required a spot on the 90-man roster to pull it off.
“This is pretty special,” Brown said. “It shows a level of respect. I appreciate the club and I think they appreciate what I was able to do while I was here, representing the team and their brand as far as the Chicago Bears. I did it and I did it proudly. I tried to play football the right way. I hope people always felt I played my butt off and played the game the right way and kept my nose clean off the field.
Brown, 33, resides in Chicago’s northern suburbs and being able to retire as a member of the Bears is important to him because he, his wife Karimar and their family are rooted in the community.
“That’s what makes it that much more special for me,” he said. “I don’t plan on leaving. My wife enjoys it here, my kids really enjoy it here. The schools are great here. It’s a great place to raise a family. As long as you can get over the cold, you can be all right.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune