Bears release CB Ricky Manning Jr.

The long anticipated release of cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. has finally come when the Bears terminated his contract on Tuesday.

Manning began to lose playing time last season and lost his starting job to Danieal Manning this off-season. Things have gotten so bad for Ricky Manning recently that he ended up being moved from nickelback — where Lovie Smith once said he was a natural fit — to third-string cornerback.

With the emergence of young players Corey Graham and Trumaine McBride, the Bears felt Ricky Manning and his high salary — he was due to make $1.85 million this season and $4.75 million next season as part of the five-year, $21 million deal he signed in 2006 — were expendable.

Manning was disgruntled all off-season, but his recent remarks voicing displeasure with his situation led to him missing practice Tuesday and his eventual release.

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