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Bears terminate contract of Johnny Knox

johnny-knox Getty Images

More than a year after a frightening injury that has left him to date unable to play football, the Bears have parted ways with receiver Johnny Knox.

The team announced the move on Tuesday morning.

Knox, a fifth-round pick in 2009, was bent backward awkwardly and violently during a December 2011 game.  He remained with the team throughout the 2012 season, but he was never cleared to play.

He was due to make $1.26 million in 2013.  It’s still unclear whether he’ll ever play football again.

The move could make receiver Devin Hester even more inclined to move on from the Bears.  He and Knox developed a very close friendship after Knox’s injury.

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25 Responses to “Bears terminate contract of Johnny Knox”
  1. wiscoviking says: Feb 12, 2013 11:04 AM

    Is Hester a free agent?

  2. beardinals says: Feb 12, 2013 11:10 AM

    I hope the best for the kid. He had real potential.

  3. thraiderskin says: Feb 12, 2013 11:11 AM

    I totally forgot about Knox… I sort of feel bad for that, considering how he got hurt.

  4. west4420 says: Feb 12, 2013 11:16 AM

    “He remained with the team throughout the 2012 season, but he was never cleared to play.”

    Kudos to the Bears for keeping the young man a little while longer knowing full well he would never play again and making sure he left the game with a little money in his pocket to start the rest of his life on the right foot.

    Have a good life Johnny, take care of your family.

  5. bcfalcon says: Feb 12, 2013 11:18 AM

    That was one of the most disgusting injuries i have ever seen! Hopefully Johnny can play again, he was a promising deep threat.

  6. reed20ravens says: Feb 12, 2013 11:18 AM

    Come to Baltimore.

  7. abefroman00 says: Feb 12, 2013 11:19 AM

    Poor guy had his back snapped in half. Hopefully he’ll find a team to play with. He still needed some development, but he had a ton of potential.

  8. voiceofsweetness says: Feb 12, 2013 11:21 AM

    Probably the worst injury I’ve ever seen. I’m amazed he can walk. I wish the best for Knox. This doesn’t necessarily mean he couldn’t be a bear in the future if he gets healthy and still wants to play. Business decision that was coming awhile ago.

    Good luck Johnny! Wish you the best on you’re recovery and life wherever it goes.

  9. champ1118 says: Feb 12, 2013 11:26 AM

    Anyone who calls players greedy for holding out and getting as much money as they can should take notice of this situation. Not implying that the Bears are doing anything wrong here, but once you can’t play anymore, regardless of the situation, the team will move on. It’s a business.

  10. coltzfan166 says: Feb 12, 2013 11:38 AM

    Hang it up Johnny. With an injury like that, it’s not worth playing again.

  11. west4420 says: Feb 12, 2013 11:40 AM

    To anyone that thinks Johnny Knox will play NFL football again please understand that a couple of months ago he weighed in at 135 because of the muscle atrophy and couldn’t run without the aid of a harness holding him up.

    He will be able to run in the future but not at 4’3 in the 40 and certainly not like an NFL player.

    He is done, it is sad but he’s in a great position financially for a young man with the rest of his life ahead of him.

    From the Tribune on 3/26/12

    “Knox, a former fifth-round pick, is entering the final year of his rookie deal and has a base salary of $1.26 million in 2012. The one-time Pro Bowl pick was offered a four-year contract worth $4 million per season prior to the injury but did not accept the offer.”

    The Bears knew he messed up by not taking the contract and the guaranteed money along with it which is why they kept him on a full year and paid him an additional 1.26M.

  12. spedman24 says: Feb 12, 2013 11:55 AM

    Yeah Hester will leave now…WTF??? Are you kidding me???? Is this 4th grade kickball??? Package deals?

  13. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 12, 2013 12:13 PM

    Johnny look for a media gig or something. You broke your back… your back.

  14. EJ says: Feb 12, 2013 12:30 PM

    Big ups for the Bears keeping Knox on for another year after the injury, they could have easily just let him go last year. Doing so probably gave him a much better chance toward his future. The Bears move up in my book.

  15. hor2012 says: Feb 12, 2013 12:43 PM

    Wow, that was really a nice thing the Bears did. And, I’m not trying to be funny. They didn’t have to do that. I hope the young man makes wise investments. Now, I think Devin Hester should man up and say what is real deal is. He’s going to be a eagle because he fits what they do on offense. This has nothing was so ever to do with Jhonny Knox

  16. londonfletcher59 says: Feb 12, 2013 1:01 PM

    I remember watching that one like it happened yesterday. Terrible injury. Wish him all the best.

  17. gooboy6 says: Feb 12, 2013 1:01 PM

    More evidence that these guys are pieces of meat, get every thing you can on your contracts players, your one play away from your last

  18. bearasstruth says: Feb 12, 2013 1:04 PM

    Johnny knox had six titanium flex pins, screws and plates insert his spinal column. Hargrove broke Johnny’s knox, C3,C4, C5, C6, C7, & T1. Tim Bream the Bears Trainer at the time said if Hargrove would have broken Johnny C1 or C2, Johnny would have be permently paralyzed. He will never play football again! Maybe he will coach the game!! Atleast the Bears gave him a year pay and treatment to see if he could recover. Just sad!!

  19. irishnativeson says: Feb 12, 2013 1:06 PM

    Can you imagine the media carnage if the Bears had cut him when they could have? 1.26 mil isn’t that much to pay considering the bad PR.

  20. robert831 says: Feb 12, 2013 1:36 PM

    Why not keep him around this offseason and see where he is at in the fall? Bears should not have let him go at this point in the year.

  21. CKL says: Feb 12, 2013 1:39 PM

    I wish this kid the best, sad story.

  22. themackstrong says: Feb 12, 2013 1:51 PM

    I’m sorry to hear that for Johnny Knox Bears fans. Hate that it happened playing my team because you never want to see anyone get injured like that fighting for ball. I honestly didn’t know he hurt so bad until reading this and your posts. Wish him to be back on his feet leading a normal life even if it isn’t playing in NFL. He stood out to me because of his speed and play making ability.

  23. larryboodry says: Feb 12, 2013 4:25 PM

    Class move by the Bears paying Knox for 2012…I wish him the best moving forward, and I hope he does not risk permanent disability by playing football again.

  24. necr0philia says: Feb 12, 2013 5:26 PM

    That was the worst injury I have ever witnessed. I’m surprised he was able to walk again. Wish him all the luck in the world!!

  25. bearsoxass says: Feb 13, 2013 3:24 PM

    It’s no big deal, this guy got no talent.

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