Bears Veteran Cut; Maynard Goes First........
Bears parting ways with punter Maynard
http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/...4-25151903.jpg Brad Maynard sits on the snowy Soldier Field turf during last season's game vs. New England. (Scott Strazzante/Tribune)
By Vaughn McClure Tribune reporter 5:16 p.m. CDT, July 25, 2011
The Chicago Bears have informed veteran punter Brad Maynard that they intend to move on without him rather than signing the free agent to a new deal, according to a source close to the player.
Maynard, 37, spent 10 seasons with the Bears after starting his career with the New York Giants. He received the call from the team late Monday afternoon.
Apparently, the Bears are prepared for a youth movement at the position after signing 28-year-old Richmond McGee to a two-year contract this offseason. The Bears apparently are also eyeing veteran Steve Weatherford, 28, as Maynard’s replacement.
Maynard wasn't satisfied with his performance last season — his 10th with the Bears — as he finished 32nd in the league in punt average (40.1 yards) and 29th in net average (35.2). His recovery from right hip surgery affected his punting, and weather and field conditions late in the season, along with some pooch punts at the start, didn't help his statistics.
But Maynard still is regarded as one of the finest directional punters around, and he stands second-best all time with 407 punts inside the 20 in 14 seasons, behind the retired Jeff Feagles (554).
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