Brown, 30, has played his entire eight-year career for the Bears, after being a fourth-round draft pick out of Florida. He's never been to the Pro Bowl (was an alternate twice), but he's still an above average player. He recorded 43 1/2 sacks, 55 tackles for losses, 5 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries and blocked three kicks during his time in Chicago.
Just because the move isn't surprising doesn't mean it's a good one. In fact, this appears to be an awful decision on the surface. With Peppers taking attention away from the other side, Brown could have thrived and had the best season of his career. Idonije is clearly better suited to play the inside, and there are still plenty of questions about the tackles the Bears love so much. The pass rusher will be Mark Anderson, and he's regressed since a great rookie season (he had 12 sacks in 2006 and has just 9 1/2 combined since then).
The Bears may be able to shift things around and not miss Brown much. It's possible, I'm just not seeing it. Someone else is going to get their hands on a quality defensive end who is a great locker room guy in terms of being a good teammate and leader.
In fact, check out this quote from the Chicago Tribune.
"Good," one NFC personnel man familiar with the Bears said when told Brown was being cut loose today. "He's one of their better defensive players."So, yeah, another brilliant move from Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith in Halas Hall. And so the world turns.