Bears Show No Loyalty By Letting Hester Go

Now that the Bears have parted ways with Devin Hester, the problem with the Bears organization, fans say, is that it's not loyal to its players:

Melanie Lane ·  Top Commenter

This coach reminds me of Wannstedt who did not renew Butlers contract despite butler having the better record during pre-season that year. The team demands loyalty from it's fans but gives none back and we support em. Blah. We should have let Urlacher have one last year if only for leadership during a rocky change over, they didn't and our defense was terrible. Wish we still had Lovey, maybe I can become a Tampa Bay fan.

Marty Martino, a constant complainer, agrees with Melanie:

Marty Martino ·  Top Commenter

Devin will look stupid in that new Tampa Bay uniform. I will still where is jersey that I recently bought proudly and cheer him on as he breaks the NFL returns to TD record. The Bears are making a HUGE mistake not resigning this guy. Phil Emery analyzes things too damn much. How about thinking with your gut and heart once in a while? This will really hurt Bear fans loyalty since Emery has none.

Andrzej Siata checks in from Poland with the same sentiment:

Andrzej Andy Siata ·  Top Commenter · Kraków, Poland

Bears always screw things up with their players. their as bad as the bulls management .this team needs a new owner just like the Bears. when Rocky took over the Hawks. he made them the best team in the NHL within a few years. i hope the owners of the bears and bulls die so a better person can manage them
thats why no one wants to play for the bears and bulls cause their not loyal to their players. look at Lakers being loyal to their superstars, the Spurs, Packers, Red Wings, Patriots. like i said it all depends who owns the team.

I picked Melanie's, Marty's and Andrzej's comments for sharing the same word, "loyal":

"The team demands loyalty from it's fans but gives none back and we support em," - Melanie
"This will really hurt Bear fans loyalty since Emery has none,"- Marty
"thats why no one wants to play for the bears and bulls cause their not loyal to their players," - Andrzej

For what it's worth, even Brian Urlacher agrees with them:

“It’s just the loyalty factor. It’s just not there."
Fortunately I guess, the voice of reason does appear on the internet, even if it doesn't prevail:

Nathan Odenbach ·  Top Commenter · Magneco/Metrel

Oh my God, it's not about loyalty. It's about being a better team. How many players have the Patriots jettisoned off of that team? Does Wes Welker ring a bell? Deion Branch? Brandon Lloyd? Keeping Devin Hester on the team does not make the team better in 2014. It doesn't. End of story. If you want loyalty, then Gabe Carimi would still be on this team. So would Urlacher, and J'Marcus Webb, and on and on and on.

In case you haven't noticed, like Melanie, Marty and Andrzej, loyalty in the NFL has gone the way of giving carries  to the fullback, which is to say, it was a common thing back in the '70s and '80s, but it hardly exists anymore and even when it does, you question any team that does it.  Brian Urlacher is absolutely right:  It's not there.  It's not just the Bears.  It's every team in the NFL, or at least, all the good ones.

I'm generally a big fan of salary caps in sports.  I think it's great that a NFL team in Green Bay, Wisconsin can compete with the New York Giants.  But one big casualty of it is the ability to keep players for sentimental reasons, coach-on-the-field stuff, etc.  A similar thing happened with the Bulls in the NBA when they traded away Luol Deng for little more than cap relief.  Fans and players alike talked about loyalty and disappointment.

By contrast, you look at the White Sox, who are paying longtime captain Paul Konerko $2.5MM to be a part-time player, essentially just to give fans something to cheer about, to appeal to emotion and sentiment, to have him be a coach on the field and in the clubhouse, and to do right by Paulie who has done right by them.  For all his flaws, it's the kind of thing Jerry Reinsdorf would do, and if it were up to Jerry Reinsdorf, Luol Deng is probably still on the Bulls.  But in MLB, teams are not up against a hard salary cap and thereby have some flexibility, especially a team that's transitioning the way the White Sox are.  The Bulls, meanwhile, are expected to compete for a championship against an increasingly hard cap and with an almost desperate need for a shot creator, something Deng never was, and those players are generally among the highest paid players in the game.  As a fan of the Bulls, I have to demand that they ultimately do allocate that salary towards the right player, but I'm not sad to see Deng gone.

In the NFL, the Bears and really all teams are expected to compete for the playoffs each and every year, and are expected to do so working against a hard cap.  Every year there's a new crop of players and agents demanding record-setting contracts so they can see their names on espn.go.com.  There is simply no room for loyalty and sentimentality, no room to give $2MM per year for a guy you don't absolutely need.  The Denver Broncos just parted ways with Champ Bailey, who has had a Hall of Fame career with them.  The only exception is if you really don't care if the Bears go to the playoffs this year.  Then you can bring back Hester, Peppers, Tillman, and heck, Urlacher too and let them all do a victory lap even though they never really won anything.  If you want the team to get younger and better. all four of those guys are gone.

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  • My favorite part is Urlacher. He and fans alike keep forgetting the Bears OFFERED HIM A CONTRACT! He turned it down. When the phone didn't ring, that should have told him something.

  • The primary trait of this ownership is their cheapness. We put up with Lovuie for two wasted seasons because Virginia wouldn't pay him to stay home. It a storied family that is know for squeezing blood from a nickel. a long as they own the club we will never win a championship again.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Thanks for commenting. You make a good point about retaining Lovie for so long but I think the organization honestly believed he was the best guy to coach the Bears. I think it was incompetence rather than cheapness.

    Whatever it was with Lovie, money has nothing to do with the personnel. The Bears spend the full cap every year just like every other NFL team. The best teams are no longer the ones who spend the most but rather the ones who spend the wisest. The Bears did not let go of Hester to save money, but rather to allocate that money elsewhere. The money will get spent. That's a fact.

  • Hester hadn't been "Hester" since they changed the blocking scheme on returns. Perhaps following Lovie Smith will get him that one more TD he needs to break the tie for the record.

    Frankly, I was always amazed that most of his return TDs weren't called back for illegal blocks, as *I* saw very close borderline hits, and was constantly surprised that the flags didn't come out. There was a change in scheme a couple of years ago, and suddenly the TDs got few and far between. I suspect that if he stayed in Chicago he might not get that last one he needs.

    He's pretty much a lock for the Hall one way or another.

  • In reply to Brendan Tripp:

    I agree that he should be in the HOF but I wouldn't consider him a lock, record or no record. It's tough to get in as a specialist though if any specialist should be the exception, it's him.

  • they're cheap cheap cheap.

  • In reply to Craig Jackson:

    Even if they are, that has nothing to do with letting Hester go.

  • Good lord. Urlacher should run for congress. He's learned nothing and is acting like a child. It's always so easy to spend other people's money.

  • If Lovie would have made him a slot receiver instead of a #1 receiver Hester would have some value and probably be around for another year. An aging kick return specialist who doesn't do much else is too much of a luxury. He probably has 3 or 4 more kick return TDs in him, it'll probably take 2-3 years to get them though. Let him join Lovie. Loved having him around, but it's the right time to part ways.

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    I too will always wonder what would have happened to Hester had Lovie let Martz use Hester the way he publicly said he wanted to, which was "like Az Hakim" or in the slot. Martz had a vision to get Heseter matched up against safeties and linebackers. but Lovie publicly overruled Martz and said Hester was a #1 receiver. So instead of being matched up against safeties, linebackers and nickel backs on maybe 20-30% of offensive snaps, Hester was out there on a majority of offensive snaps, matched up against savvy starting corners, and blocking on run plays. That might have been the biggest blunder of Lovie's career, as it also sapped Hester's ability to concentrate on kick and punt return duties. I think history will remember Lovie as a pretty good coach for the Bears, but he should be fired for his handling of Hester alone.

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    Firstly some of you are stuck on stupid. Cheap? No. You are an idiot. As far as some of you other idiots I have a simple question for you. Are you a Hester fan or a Bear's fan? I root for the Bears not Hester. F**k that idiot. And that goes double for Urlacher.

  • Two things to remember about Devin's usefulness and the HOF. A) as mentioned the salary cap and b) the rule changes that allowed for kickers to be knocking the ball into the 2nd deck on kickoffs. For a player that had niche talented (proven failure at two positions) it is not worth the money since he can't do anything else. Read the stats on touchbacks now a days. And the first special teams only player finally got elected by the veterans committee so I wouldn't be waiting for that call anytime soon. And as mentioned, they offered Brian a contract when no one else did.

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