Bryan Cox, the helmet-throwing linebacker known for his temper tantrums, says the Chicago Bears have told him he'll be released June 1, a move he claims is in response to his criticism of team management.
"This decision had nothing to do with football," Cox told the Chicago Sun-Times after learning the news Sunday.
Cox, 30, was fined $10,000 by the team for helmet-throwing tantrum during a season-opening loss to Green Bay in September. He made the Pro Bowl three times in five seasons with the Miami Dolphins and was ranked ninth among Dolphins in career sacks.
He said he'd been told that management -- specifically team president Michael McCaskey -- grew weary of his criticism.
"THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE," said Cox. "They didn't like my criticizing management and ... talking about what is really happening."
Cox said coach Dave Wannstedt is "going to be the next fall guy. He's next in line to go."
But the coach isn't the source of the team's problems, according to Cox. It's upper management headed by McCaskey "that can't keep pace with teams like San Francisco."
He called the McCaskeys "nice people," but said they "ought to leave the business of football to people who understand the game."
Cox said the Bears ordered him not to attend offseason workouts and decided he will be released June 1. Cox said his agent, Cliff Brady, is trying to work out a trade to get the Bears a draft pick.
Cox is entering the third year of a four-year contract worth $13.2 million.
If the Bears wait until June to release Cox, they can spread out the remaining $2.5 million of a $5 million signing bonus over the next two years.
Cox, who has been fined in excess of $100,000 for a variety of outbursts the last four seasons, insisted he's not upset by the release.
"They've used the word rebuilding, so I don't want to be part of a rebuilding anyway," he said. "Last season was a horror, and to go through that again would be pretty bad."
The Bears finished the season 4-12, the third-worst record in their 78-year history.
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