Bears Release DT Tommie Harris

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The have released veteran defensive tackle Tommie Harris, a three-time Pro Bowl pick who had struggled in recent years because of injuries.

The Bears also released linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer on Monday.

A Pro Bowl pick from 2005 to 2007, Harris was limited by knee and hamstring problems the past few years and never regained his old disruptive form. He had signed a four-year, $40 million extension in June 2008 and was locked in through 2012, but the Bears decided to cut him loose after several ineffective seasons.

He was a healthy scratch against in September and finished the season with 13 tackles and 1½ sacks in 15 games. He was held out of a game last year and got suspended by the team for one in 2008 because of detrimental conduct.

In seven seasons, he had 286 tackles, 28½ sacks, 38 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and one interception.

Hillenmeyer made 69 starts and appeared in 101 games over eight seasons for the Bears, recording 458 tackles and seven sacks with two interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He missed almost the entire season after suffering a concussion in the preseason.

Shaffer, a nine-year veteran, made seven starts at right tackle over the past two seasons.

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