The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Bears release veteran safety Chris Harris, ending second run in Chicago

  • Print

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - The Chicago Bears released veteran safety Chris Harris on Thursday after he asked for a trade, ending his second run with the team.

Coach Lovie Smith said the move had been building over several weeks of sub-par play.

"We don't all of a sudden wake up one morning and just say, 'Hey, we're going to go this direction,'" Smith said. "It's a pattern and I feel good about the decision that we had to make."

Harris got beat for a touchdown pass and dropped an interception Sunday against Tampa Bay. He had asked for a trade two weeks ago and was inactive against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 16, but then started Sunday in London against the Bucs.

"We have young guys that we have in our starting lineup that we like," Smith said. "We'll see how they play. We feel pretty confident that they'll play good football."

Rookie Chris Conte started Sunday at free safety against Tampa Bay and made his first career interception while second-year player Major Wright is the starter at strong safety. Harris has played both spots.

Smith has maintained that Harris couldn't help the team on special teams, so he was less valuable than some other safeties if he wasn't starting.

"Chris doesn't play special teams, can't really play special teams," Smith said. "We have better options there. We're trying to win a championship. The guys we're keeping here I feel like give us our best chance to do it."

Wright (hip injury) is expected back for the Bears' next game, Nov. 7 at Philadelphia. The other safeties on Chicago's roster are Brandon Meriweather, Craig Steltz and Anthony Walters.

Harris was in his second stint with the Bears after being traded back from Carolina last year for linebacker Jamar Williams. After tying for the team lead in interceptions with five last season, he started the opener against Atlanta but missed the next three games due to a pulled hamstring.

Former teammates expressed surprise at Harris' departure. Defensive back D.J. Moore thought asking for a trade probably didn't help Harris' situation.

"I feel like once you say, 'OK, I want a trade, I want something like that,' somebody (with the team) is feeling like he's trying to one-up me or something," Moore said. "It might be one of those things."

Smith called it a personnel move and not an attempt to send a message to other players about what can happen if they request trades.

"I'm not really interested in trying to keep anybody on edge," Smith said. "We're trying to get good play. We're evaluating what we're doing on the football field."

The Bears filled Harris' spot by signing former St. Louis Rams linebacker Jabara Williams off waivers.

Williams, a seventh-round draft pick out of Stephen F. Austin in 2011, played in two games for the Rams before being waived.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Fire destroys one St. Norbert home, damages another

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Who has been the Jets best defenceman so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google