By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) When the Bears released defensive end Alex Brown prior to the 2010-11 season, most fans were quite surprised and even angered, as was Brown himself, though being the classy guy he is, he did not burn any bridges on his way out.
After being cut by the New Orleans Saints Tuesday, Brown finds himself in a position to return to the team he generally played well with for eight seasons in Chicago. The Bears’ defense is currently pretty thin at defensive end with Corey Wootton recovering from meniscus surgery in his right knee and the team recognizing the pile of suck that Vernon Gholston is and waiving bye-bye to him.
Why not bring Brown in to be the third end behind Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije? Brown is obviously familiar with the Bears defense, he’s not a big injury concern after playing in every regular season game since the 2003-04 season, and he has always been a favorite of Bears fans due to his hard play and genuinely nice demeanor off the field.
He is 32 years old, but that isn’t ancient for an end. Some consider him over the hill after recording just two sacks for the Saints last season in 16 starts, but it wasn’t easy to find many bright spots on a team that ranked 29th in total defense. I guess New Orleans is happy enough with a group of ends that includes a rookie, a guy serving two to four games of a suspension to open the season, and a cast of future auto mechanics, one of whom, Jeff Charleston, looks like one of the Children of the Corn if they drank.
Also, with Week 1 of the regular season looming, there are not exactly better insurance options out there right now if the Bears were to acquire a free agent end. Can I interest you in a late model Jared DeVries? Perhaps a previously owned Jarvis Green with some Goobers that fell in the dash and melted?
Brown is a low-risk, high-reward signing should Jerry Angelo choose to ink him, and also one who would be pretty cheap after being cut each of the last two years. Remember that Angelo still has about $19 million to play around with, and Brown should not put a serious dent in that figure. The longer that extra money lingers, the more I wake up with cold sweats screaming “Todd Collins!”
And while running back Matt Forte and linebacker Lance Briggs have made it public that they want new money—situations that could get ugly between those players and the general manager—Angelo could make a logical, but more importantly feel-good move by bringing back the former #96.
On Twitter Tuesday, Brown said that he still has “some football left” in him. For a team that will need its defense to carry them to the playoffs, adding that “some” to the whole could pay big dividends.
When Brown was drafted in the fourth round of the 2002 draft, many considered him a risky pick and one with higher round talent who fell because of character issues. USA Today’s scouting report on him, for example, included such assessments as “moody athlete who struggles to handle diversity,” “will shut down his motor on plays away from him,” and “another case of a player with more hype than potential.”
Brown proved those doubters wrong then and may have single-handedly made Angelo’s first draft as Bears GM a success (imagine that). Adding him to this year’s team would not be so risky and could help bring success to an entire Bears season.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.