Harris On Benching: ‘It Didn’t Sit Well’
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(WSCR) In one week’s time, Bears safety Chris Harris lost his starting job, was told not to dress for the game and has formally requested to be traded.
Harris entered the 2011 season as the Bears starting strong safety, but suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1. The injury caused him to miss the next three games. After struggling in his return against the Lions, Harris ultimately lost his starting spot to Major Wright before Love Smith made him inactive Sunday.
“I don’t know if it’s personal. I would like to think it’s not, and I don’t think it is, but this is a business,” Harris told The Laurence Holmes Show on Monday night. “I think the quicker you can realize that in this league, the longer you’ll last. That’s what it is right now. It’s a business and I’m treating it as such.
“Coming back off an injury, playing – not playing as well as I should or as well as I wanted to – then to come back the very next week and not only be benched, but to be inactive, it didn’t sit well with me.”
LISTEN: Chris Harris on The Laurence Holmes Show
Harris was so frustrated with the turn of events that he requested to be traded from the Bears.
“If I’m going to be inactive, if I’m not going to dress, helping this team win, I want to try to help another team win,” he said. “It’s not because I just want to get out of here, but if I’m going to be inactive, I’m looking out for the team as well. If you’re going to pay me to sit on the bench, you might as well get something for me. … I guess that’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”
He did say, however, if a trade was not worked out by Tuesday’s deadline, he would be 100-percent committed to the Bears.
“You gotta be professional,” he said. “I don’t care how you disagree with something, or disagree with the way things are going, whatever the situation may be. At the end of the day, this is a business. You have to be professional about it. If that’s the case and no trade goes through, I’m going to do my best to help the team win whether it is on the sidelines or on the field.”
This is Harris’ second stint with the Bears. After being drafted by Chicago in the fifth round in 2005, he was traded to the Panthers after the 2006 season. Harris was dealt back to the Bears before the 2010 season.
“It’s déjà vu,” he said. ”When it happened the first time and I chalked it up to, ‘It’s business. It’s the life of the NFL, that’s the way things go around here.’ So I go to Carolina, play three seasons there. … I had an opportunities to go to another organization (in 2010) and be paid two-times what I’m getting paid here, because they were going to take on my original contract, but I chose to come to this organization instead because of the friendships I had on this team, because I felt like I could win here.”