LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears 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.
NFL Scouting Combine on NFL Network:
Follow more than 300 draft prospects with NFL Network's live coverage of the 2011 combine, which began on Thursday, Feb. 24 and will continue through Tuesday, March 1.
» Complete combine coverage
» Watch the combine live online
» Inside the workouts of the combine
» Combine photos: 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
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.
"We made out determinations on what we need to do, we talked about every player, and when you talk about players, you're always talking about their contracts, you're talking about their performance, you're talking about their attitude and how it applies to the team," general manager Jerry Angelo said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "And those in a simplified way is our formula on what we do with every player, so it's a filter we go through and then whatever we determine, we'll announce it at the appropriate time if there's something to announce."
Harris' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not return messages seeking comment.
Harris was a healthy scratch against Green Bay in September and finished the season with 13 tackles and 1.5 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, 28.5 sacks, 38 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and one interception.
Bears safety Chris Harris on Twitter wrote: "Its nature of the business. I wish him the best. He's a friend."
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.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
I'd take a flier on Hillenmeyer...he's an excellent special teamer, and lord knows this team needs help there. Can never have enough LB's