Pro Football: Chris Harris, veteran safety, released by Bears

October 27, 2011

Online Staff Report

Veteran Chicago Bears safety Chris Harris has been released.

Harris started in the Bears’ 24-18 win over Tampa Bay in London Sunday, Oct. 23, replacing the injured Major Wright.

According to reports, Harris was notified of his release by Head Coach Lovie Smith, who said the team was going younger at the position.

Harris, 29, said he is healthy and hopes to join another NFL team this season.

Harris confirmed his release through the following two tweets on his Twitter account, @ChrisHarrisNFL:

I was just released this morning by the Bears. Thank u for the opp to play football n do what I luv. I’m looking toward my next venture.

This Business known as the #NFL is a strange one. Chicago I want to thank u for all the luv u have shown me over the yrs. u will b missed.”

Harris was drafted by the Bears in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played for the Bears in 2005 and 2006, before being traded to Carolina in 2007. He was traded back to the Bears for the 2010 season. He had started 39 of 44 career games with the Bears, collecting 10 interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

Harris had a salary of $1.095 million for this season, plus a $500,000 roster bonus. He was benched earlier this year after a poor outing in a Monday night loss to the Detroit Lions. He was then inactive for the following game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Harris had been granted a request to seek a trade, but decided to finish the season in Chicago after a meeting with Bears’ management.

The Bears reportedly could sign 24-year-old Tom Nelson to fill Harris’ roster spot. Nelson was an undrafted free agent who had 25 tackles and an interception in three starts with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009.

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