Everyone at Chicago Bears headquarters in Lake Forest applauded the record signing of Panthers' defensive end Julius Peppers.
Everyone except Alex Brown that is. The signing looked like it could signal the end for the who ended the year as a team captain.
Sources close to Brown have confirmed with NBC 5.
Brown's agent Joel Segal told him the news Thursday night: the Bears are going to shop him around for a trade, or release him.
It's shocking news to Brown and his family. They've been in Chicago for eight seasons since the team drafted him as a fourth round pick out of Florida in 2002.
Shocking but not surprising.
You don't break the bank on Julius Peppers only to ask him to move to the left side. The Bears plan to give restricted free agent Mark Anderson the best shot at winning the job as left defensive end, while also moving Israel Idonije out from the inside to rotate in as left end, too.
While Brown was never a double digit sack guy, he was reliable and had a high motor. He garnered 43.5 sacks and five interceptions in eight seasons; second all time to Richard Dent for Bears defensive linemen.
Alex Brown received a contract extension in 2008 that keeps him in a Bears uniform until 2011, but the Bears see a higher ceiling for the younger Mark Anderson and will take a chance paying him close to $5 million to play left end.