The Bears used a portion of their bye to bring in a few potential prospects for workouts this week; one of whom was former Bengals safety Tom Nelson. Early reports were that the team liked what they saw in Nelson. Just a few short days later, and veteran safety Chris Harris has been released.
Harris was benched in favor of the rookie Chris Conte for the Bears tilt against the Division-rival Vikings a few weeks back, after a poor performance against the Lions just a week prior. Harris requested permission to pursue a trade the next day, was granted it, but was unsuccessful.
Jump one week up from that and Harris found himself back in the starting lineup for the Bears’ game against the Buccaneers in London, England. Harris struggled yet again in that game, dropping an easy interception opportunity, while also having some obvious tackling issues.
Here’s the press release from the Chicago Bears Media Relations Department, issued this morning:
LAKE FOREST, IL – The Chicago Bears have released S Chris Harris and terminated the practice squad contract of DE Jake Laptad.
Harris appeared in 44 games (39 starts) over four seasons (2005-06 and 2010-11) with the Bears, recording 234 tackles, 10 interceptions, three fumble recoveries and four tackles for losses. In seven NFL seasons with Chicago and Carolina (2007-09), Harris appeared in 88 contests (83 starts), gathering 474 tackles, 15 interceptions, 25 pass break ups, 12 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and four tackles for losses.
Laptad spent the entire 2011 preseason with the Bears and the last two weeks on Chicago’s practice squad after joining the team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Kansas.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Bears intend to offer Tom Nelson a contract, but we should know shortly.