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Bears to part ways with punter Brad Maynard

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 04: Brad Maynard #4 Chicago Bears punts ball against Detroit Lions October 4 2009 Soldier Field Chicago

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 04: Brad Maynard #4 of the Chicago Bears punts the ball against the Detroit Lions on October 4, 2009 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 48-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Updated: July 26, 2011 5:01AM

The Bears informed punter Brad Maynard on Monday that they won’t re-sign him when free agency begins Friday, ending his decade-long tenure with the team.

Maynard said philosophical differences with Bears special-teams coach Dave Toub likely contributed to the decision.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Maynard said. “There was one person there, and he and I didn’t see eye to eye. I did the best I could with what I was asked to do. There were times I was asked to do things where I told myself, ‘There’s no way I can do this,’ but I kept my mouth shut and did the best I could.”

When asked if that person was Toub, who is considered one of the best special-teams coaches in the league, Maynard said: “Yeah.”

“They are moving in a different direction,” he said. “The speculation is they have had something done for a while now. For them to call me the day before free agency opens, that tells you they probably got something done.”

Speculation has centered on free agent Steve Weatherford, the Illi-
nois product who punted for the New York Jets last season. Weatherford averaged 42.6 yards per punt and dropped 42 punts inside the
20-yard line in 2010. Maynard averaged 40.1 with 24 inside the 20.

Hip surgery last offseason
coupled with cold-weather games late in the year conspired to drag Maynard’s average down.

“I didn’t touch a ball until
June 25,” he said. “I only had three or four weeks to get ready for training camp. I started a little slow. The numbers started slow just because of field position. Then I started pressing hard to get the numbers up quick. Things added up.”

Maynard said he hopes to continue his career with another team.

“I’m thrilled with my career here,” he said. “I had a great time and met a lot of great people. The best time of my career was spent here in Chicago. I’m proud I played with one team for so long. Most guys play three or four years and move on. To play 10 is a great run.”

NOTE: Former Northwestern defensive tackle Corbin Bryant
agreed to join the Bears as an
undrafted free agent. The Wildcats announced the move late Monday.

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