Bears cut Pace, 2 others

Updated: March 1, 2010, 10:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Orlando Pace experiment in Chicago is over.

Pace
Pace

The left tackle was cut by the team on Monday. Tight end Fontel Mines and guard Tyler Reed were also cut.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter first reported Pace's release.

The seven-time Pro Bowler spent one season in Chicago after signing a three-year, $15 million deal before the 2009 season. The former No. 1 pick spent the rest of his 13-year career with the St. Louis Rams, where Bears coach Lovie Smith was defensive coordinator from 2001-03.

Former first-round pick Chris Williams moved from the right side to his more natural left tackle spot after Pace injured his groin against Minnesota in late November. Pace, a three-time first-team All-Pro and the first overall pick out of Ohio State in 1997, has hinted that he may retire.

Chicago had hoped Pace would help solidify the line when it signed him on the same day last April as the blockbuster trade with Denver for quarterback Jay Cutler. With those two moves, the Bears thought they were jumping into contention in the NFC.

Instead, they stumbled to a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs for the third straight year.

Cutler found himself on the run and wound up with a league-leading 26 interceptions because of poor blocking by a line that ranked 19th overall and his own poor decisions. The running game, meanwhile ranked 29th, with Matt Forte going from 1,238 yards as a rookie in 2008 to 929 yards last season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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