Alex Brown Departing Chicago: What This Will Mean to the Chicago Bears

Bob WarjaSenior Writer IMarch 26, 2010

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 28: Alex Brown #96 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a sack of Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on December 28, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 36-30 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images is reporting that defensive end Alex Brown is telling teammates he believes the team is going to try to either trade or release him. This is being attributed to "team sources."

When the Bears signed free agent Julius Peppers to take Brown's right end position, it was widely assumed that Brown would move to the left side of the line, but apparently he will be moving right out of town.

Alex Brown has been a solid, if unspectacular, end for the Bears. To allow him to leave is not devastating by any means, but the rationale goes beyond normal football sense.

For it may make business "cents" to the Bears.

As in dollars and cents. Brown is due to make $5 million this season and trading or releasing him will free up money for the Bears to sign a safety.

If they use the money to actually sign a safety or a wide receiver (Torry Holt perhaps?), then this is a good move. If they are simply being cheap, then it is a bad move. An overly simple evaluation, perhaps, but a logical one nevertheless.

Meanwhile, Lovie and his staff plan to move Israel Idonije from tackle to end and use Mark Anderson to rush on passing downs.

Brown was a standup guy and a leader in the clubhouse. He also was good against the run. But at 30, he's likely to begin declining and the loss shouldn't be detrimental to the team's success this season.

The move does carry some risk. Anderson has not been nearly as effective as he was in his rookie season. And we don't know how well Izzy's transition will go.

Yet almost any defensive end should be able to get you six sacks.

Of course, sacks alone don't tell the entire story.

Defensive pressure often turns the QB to the inside, where your tackles and other d-linemen are supposed to make the play. And we all know, the decline of Tommie Harris and the loss of Brian Urlacher has not helped turn those pressures into positive plays.

But sometimes you have to make moves from a standpoint of strength. And, at least in terms of strength in numbers, the Bears simply have more players that can replace Brown than they have experienced receivers or safeties.

So what could the Bears get in return for Brown?

While they may be hoping for a third-round pick, it is more likely that it would be a later round pick or they may even have to release him outright.

Brown was an average end, in my opinion, and not a difference maker. Don't be fooled by Chicago media who will try to blow this up to be bigger than what it should be.

Brown was loved by the local media, as he often would be the one to stand up in front of the microphones to take the bullet after a particularly bad defensive performance.

It was an exemplary attitude for Brown to have and it showed he has a strong character, but it doesn't make him a star on the football field.

Keep in mind that none of this has been confirmed by the Bears. For now, it is simply Alex Brown's opinion.

But where there's smoke, there's often fire.

Let's just hope we don't get burned.