The Bears informed veteran Brad Maynard on Monday afternoon that he will not be re-signed by the team when free agency begins Friday, ending the punter’s decade-long association with the team.
Maynard said philosophical differences with Bears special teams coach Dave Toub likely impacted 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, Maynard said: “Yeah.”
“They are moving in a different direction,” Maynard 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 former Illinois product who punted for the New York Jets for the past two seasons. Weatherford averaged 42.6 yard per punt last year and dropped 42 punts inside the 20-yard line. Maynard averaged 40.1 with 24.
Maynard said undergoing hip surgery before last season coupled with so many cold-weather games late in the year contributed to what was considered a sub-par season.
“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. At the same time, I look at the [season-opening] game against Detroit, and I pooch punted four times from within our 42. 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 is in the best shape of his career and is looking forward to continuing 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.”