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Ex-Bear Harris wants to play after dealing with wife's death

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09:15 AM ET 05.13 | Tommie Harris doesn't want your pity. A three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the Bears, Harris still lives in a Chicago suburb, even after the team released him in February 2011, and he bristles at the awkward exchanges with strangers who recognize him and insist on offering condolences after the death of his wife, Ashley, three months ago. "If you feel sorry for my loss, just hold up two fingers," Harris tells the Sun-Times. "Just don't say nothing. You know what I mean? "There's nothing you should say. There's nothing to talk about." Then, his voice trails off before he concludes, "Until you've experienced it ... Together for nearly four years, Tommie and Ashley were married on New Year's Day, just two months after she'd given birth to their second child, Tinsley. During a trip to Oklahoma in February, she was rushed to the hospital with a stroke or brain aneurysm and died the next day. Ashley Harris was 29. Tommie Harris still doesn't know the cause of death, and he's still reluctant to speak about his wife. He leans on his faith and family to help him as he patiently considers his next career move (an NFL free agent, he still wants to play) and raises his two children.

Chicago Sun Times

Tommie Harris, Ashley Harris, Icon SMI Tommie Harris, Ashley Harris, Icon SMI
May 13, 2012  09:27 AM ET

Damn.

Such a sad story... Hang in there, Tommie.

May 13, 2012  09:32 AM ET

Bears need to put this guy back to work! Poor Guy!

May 13, 2012  09:33 AM ET

Hope he gets another shot...hadn't heard this story until now.

Comment #4 has been removed
May 13, 2012  09:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Hope he gets another shot...hadn't heard this story until now.

Yeah, I'd heard about her passing and then the Bears releasing him. Most surprised that he hadn't been picked up. Great player. Don't recall hearing any negative press on the guy either.

May 13, 2012  10:01 AM ET

I feel horrible for his loss. Let him take out some anger on the field.

May 13, 2012  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I feel horrible for his loss. Let him take out some anger on the field.

+1

May 13, 2012  10:40 AM ET

Any one know why the bears released him ?

May 13, 2012  10:58 AM ET

I think playing football again would be therapeutic for Tommie. The money wouldn't hurt either.

May 13, 2012  11:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Any one know why the bears released him ?

"Underperformance" was the reason the team gave at the time of his release. I remember Lovie had stated not long beforehand that Harris fit into his plans for that upcoming season, which lead me to believe it was a salary cap-related decision made by Jerry Angelo.

May 13, 2012  11:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

"Underperformance" was the reason the team gave at the time of his release. I remember Lovie had stated not long beforehand that Harris fit into his plans for that upcoming season, which lead me to believe it was a salary cap-related decision made by Jerry Angelo.

And in the Jets thread, Angelo's underperformance was addressed.

May 13, 2012  11:16 AM ET

I hope things get better in his life, he's right, that is hard to comprehend unless you go thru it

May 13, 2012  11:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

And in the Jets thread, Angelo's underperformance was addressed.

Underperformance? Yeah, that's one term not used often enough regarding J.A's tenure.

May 13, 2012  11:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Any one know why the bears released him ?

Harris injured his knee and basically lost the burst of speed that made him so effective.

May 13, 2012  12:22 PM ET

I have a hard time believing that there isn't a team out there that couldn't use this guy.

May 13, 2012  12:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I have a hard time believing that there isn't a team out there that couldn't use this guy.

Including the Bears. Even if he isn't at 100%, I believe that his presence would help Peppers get in the backfield.

May 13, 2012  01:03 PM ET

holding up two fingers

May 13, 2012  01:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

holding up two fingers

+1

May 13, 2012  05:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Underperformance? Yeah, that's one term not used often enough regarding J.A's tenure.

"Underperformance" as a word to describe Angelo's work is a euphemism.

 
May 14, 2012  12:54 PM ET

<holds up two fingers>

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