Brandon Meriweather is more concerned about ensuring his time with the Bears gets off to a good start than worrying about where his career went wrong with the Patriots.

That's a good thing, but the Bears have to hope he learns how a promising young career got off the tracks with one of the league's elite franchises. Questions surround work ethic and discipline, but the Bears maintain the policy they have for all newcomers Meriweather has a clean slate.

Still, it's difficult to explain how a 27-year-old who has been to the last two Pro Bowls, even if he did make it as an alternate, wound up on top of the
NFL's discard pile. The Patriots ranked 30th in the NFL in pass defense a year ago, a struggle that had a lot to do with a mediocre pass rush.

Was he surprised to be among New England's final cuts Saturday?

"Um, this is a business," Meriweather said Monday afternoon at his new locker in Halas Hall after signing a one-year contract. "Nothing surprises me anymore."

The Patriots were due to pay Meriweather $1.65 million this season and it's unlikely the Bears will be approaching that figure. Meriweather declined to say what coach
Bill Belichick told him when he was cut loose.

"I'm sure if you call Bill and ask him he will give you all you need to know," he joked.

In all seriousness, the Bears have to hope Belichick committed a rare personnel blunder. It's interesting that the Patriots may not have attempted to trade a safety that has 12 interceptions over the last three seasons.


Chicago Bears: Brandon Meriweather joins Bears with clean slate - chicagotribune.com