I was hesitant to write about Devin Hester not re-upping with the Bears because I saw him as a simple cap casualty while also being someone that was over-glorified for his particular set of skills, which bordered on one-dimensional. Devin Hester was a phenomenal kick returner and punt returner, but other than that he got a lot of undue credit for too little impact on a single game. Yes, Hester did return the opening kickoff in the Bears Super Bowl loss to the Colts in 2007, but that was his greatest feat. He spent 8 years with Chicago and certainly gave us some very exciting moments for which we oooo’d and ahhhh’d. But he was taken in the draft and brought into the league to do things that never materialized.
Apparently Brian Urlacher has a serious issue with the Bears. He’s still petulant about how his departure was handled last offseason when he felt he had one more season left in him. Urlacher is an analyst for Fox Sports who once observed that the Pittsburgh Steelers show loyalty to their aging players by extending them so that they’ll retire as Steelers. He’s also suggested that the Bears fail to show loyalty to the players that should be finishing their careers with Chicago. Hester, at 32, will probably get to sign with another team, but in Urlacher’s opinion that should’ve never have been the case.
In citing the Steelers, Urlacher pointed out the extensions of Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller, both players who restructured deals so that they could be fit into the salary cap structure which allows the Steelers to draft and explore free agency. The problem with Urlacher’s logic is that if Heath Miller or Troy Polamalu had said no I don’t want to restructure, they both would’ve been cut and subsequently uenmployed like Hester is now. Not that Hester could’ve renegotiated but the Bears simply don’t want him back. Hester’s slot receiver days are behind him and you can’t pay a guy a good bit of money to touch the ball six times a game at best.
Brian Urlacher would’ve been best served avoid commenting on this one because it makes him look really bitter about his situation that unfolded last year. Devin Hester is completely different and Brian Urlacher needs to embrace retirement and be thankful he can still get out of bed in the morning with the way he played the game. He’s a lock for the HOF and the Bears ring of glory at Soldier Field. Nobody needs to hear what he thinks about personnel decisions that are being made by management effecting players he played with. The Bears are trying to get younger and faster, while revamping themselves as team. Their identity can no longer be locked into past glory like when Urlacher was clogging up the middle. The league is different and the speed of the game is changing, Brian Urlacher’s an analyst on a national television channel, not the spokesman for the future of the Bears organization.