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Former Bears DT Anthony Adams handles release with class

Former Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams says he always will cherish memories his days Chicago. | Sun-Times Media

Former Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams says he always will cherish the memories of his days in Chicago. | Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 29, 2012 8:16AM

Defensive tackle Anthony Adams was with his family in Disney World when he learned the Bears had released him.

He didn’t want to overdramatize the situation, though.

‘‘It wasn’t like I was on Space Mountain and my phone started going off,’’ Adams said Monday.

Gracious and humorous even though he was disappointed, Adams expressed understanding about the Bears’ decision.

‘‘I don’t blame them,’’ Adams said. ‘‘I probably would have done the same thing.’’

After signing a two-year contract last offseason, Adams suffered a torn calf muscle that limited him during training camp and at the start of last season. Then he was passed on the depth chart by other players, most notably rookie Stephen Paea.

Adams ended up playing only 25.9 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps last season, an NFL source said.

‘‘The longer you stay in the league, the more you start seeing all kinds of stuff,’’ Adams said. ‘‘So I wasn’t surprised by anything.’’

Adams said he is thankful the Bears made the decision quickly because it allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent immediately. He will be able to find a new NFL home before free agency officially begins March 13.

‘‘It wouldn’t make any sense to drag me along, then I get released in August or when teams are solidified,’’ Adams said.

Now healthy, Adams said he’s excited about the game.

‘‘It’s not the ideal situation,’’ he said. ‘‘But if I can still play, that would be great.’’

The Bears have more than $25 million in salary-cap space, and they’ll add another $1.25 million by releasing Adams, who was slated to make $1.9 million in 2012.

For personal reasons, Adams had mixed emotions about moving on.

‘‘This is a place where my kids were born at, so there’s just a lot of memories, and there was a lot of growth,’’ he said. ‘‘When I first got here, I was 26, married for, like, a year, no house. I bought my first house here. I had all three of my kids here. Went to the playoffs for the first time here. First divisional playoffs here. There are a lot of memories.’’

Adams said he doesn’t think there’s any locker room quite like the one the Bears have.

‘‘They’ve been great,’’ he said of his teammates. ‘‘They’re going to be forever teammates. It was great to play with those guys. I think they feel the same way.’’

Several Bears expressed their sadness about the popular Adams being released.

‘‘Hard to see you go when [you] are such a big part of our team,’’ kicker Robbie Gould posted on Twitter. ‘‘Best of luck in the future.’’

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