LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP/CBS) — Released by New England, Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather is looking forward to a fresh start with the Chicago Bears.

Meriweather says he has “a lot of respect” for the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick and was not stunned that they released him Saturday, even though he was coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons.

He agreed to a one-year deal with Chicago a day later, joining a team that won the NFC North at 11-5 and advanced to the conference championship game. He says the Bears are “a first-class organization.”

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

On Monday, Belichick talked about the Patriots’ decision to cut the Pro Bowl safety.

“I think each year is a new year and I just don’t think you can pick teams, or pick your players based on what’s happened in the past. You have to pick them based on what you think is going to happen this year, and that’s relative to the competition, to the make of your team, and player’s performance. All of those are obviously a part of it,” said Belichick. “Brandon played a lot of good football for us. We kept the players this year that we felt would be the best make up for the 2011 team. It’s not the 2009 team; it’s the 2011 team, so those are the players that we’ve selected.”

Listen: Meriweather’s New Single “VIP” Debuts On Toucher & Rich

Meriweather hopes to be ready for the opener against Atlanta on Sunday and sidestepped the question when asked if he expects to move into a starting role at some point.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. Chriss says:

    I have to admit The Chew was a last minute tiodaidn to the list. While I understand that ABC is trying to save money they can certainly do better than this.

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