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As Hester leaves Chicago, Urlacher wonders where the loyalty is

Brian Urlacher AP

Last year, the Bears parted ways with longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher. This year, they’re parting ways with longtime kick returner Devin Hester. Urlacher wonders what that says about the Bears.

“Look at what the Steelers have done the last couple days signing Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, some older guys to a couple more years just so they can retire as Steelers,” Urlacher told FOXSports.com. “The Bears could do that with Devin. He should retire a Bear. He set all those records in a Bears uniform and his number 23 should be retired one day in Chicago. It’s just the loyalty factor. It’s just not there. He should be a guy that retires as a Bear.”

Hester is the NFL’s all-time record holder for combined kick return touchdowns and punt return touchdowns, and he’s tied with Deion Sanders for the most return touchdowns of all types (Hester has 13 punt return touchdowns, five kickoff return touchdowns and one missed field goal return touchdown, while Sanders had six punt return touchdowns, three kickoff return touchdowns, nine interception return touchdowns and one fumble return touchdown). Urlacher would like to see Hester get his record-breaking 20th career return touchdown in a Bears uniform.

“He’s going to break the record on another team, probably. It’s crazy to think he won’t be in a Bears uniform doing that. It’s frustrating as an ex-Bear and a player to see that happen,” Urlacher said.

The 31-year-old Hester led the league in kickoff return yards last year and will be a good addition for some other team. Urlacher said Hester should go to Tampa Bay to play for former Bears coach Lovie Smith, who feels the loyalty toward Hester that Urlacher thinks the Bears lack.

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156 Responses to “As Hester leaves Chicago, Urlacher wonders where the loyalty is”
  1. joetoronto says: Mar 7, 2014 7:12 AM

    Loyalty left when free agency arrived, Brian.

  2. uglydingo says: Mar 7, 2014 7:13 AM

    There’s no crying in baseball (and there’s no loyalty in football).

    Apologies to Tom Hanks and Brian Urlacher.

  3. ravenswhat says: Mar 7, 2014 7:14 AM

    Psst urlacher…this is a business. You still don’t get it.

  4. tvjules says: Mar 7, 2014 7:15 AM

    The Bears don’t lack loyalty. It’s just business. And it’s a billion dollar one at that.

  5. raiderufan says: Mar 7, 2014 7:16 AM

    Breaking News Brian! This has been happening for literally the entire history of the league. Very few guys just stay as long as they want….especially if the only thing they bring is kick returns.

    Urlacher is a bitter ex-girlfriend.

  6. redmanalishi says: Mar 7, 2014 7:17 AM

    I love Urlacher, but I think he’s lost sight of the cold reality that the NFL is competitive and also a business. Sometimes you don’t always sign the “best” or the guy who’s been in the family the longest. Sometimes you move on for the team. Loyalty is a great asset, but in business and in professional sports it is a losing strategy in the long term.

    As for Polamalu and Miller, well sometimes you just need a leader or two (lest you have a leadership vacuum like in Miami). But that’s Pitt’s choice, not Urlacher’s. Move on, buddy.

  7. logast says: Mar 7, 2014 7:17 AM

    Hey, Urlacher. The NFL is a business. While loyalty is a great thing, it also comes at a price. And when the one wanting the loyalty is asking for too much cash, then there is a parting of the ways.

  8. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Mar 7, 2014 7:17 AM

    So no bitterness there.

  9. packattack1967 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:18 AM

    Hester is a one trick pony and that trick is waning. There’s only one number 23 retired in Chicago by the way and it shall stay that way for the foreseeable future.

  10. restorativejusticeprogram says: Mar 7, 2014 7:20 AM

    And who signed Urlacher after he was cut?

  11. craigkintexas says: Mar 7, 2014 7:21 AM

    Lovie knows best! I believe Hester will go to Tampa Bay.

  12. firejerry says: Mar 7, 2014 7:21 AM

    I would rather have another Super Bowl than a team of “former” stars. Perhaps the players union should work something out with the cap for aging vets such some sort of tag, call it the aging super star tag. They were loyal to Hester last season, for more than a millon dollars.

  13. beardown1 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:21 AM

    Dear Brian,

    Your CBA does not encourage loyalty as you would view it. The salary cap, as is, means get money while you can. There is no role for the “keep getting dem checks” NBA veteran in the NFL. I’m sorry, but that’s how it is.

    If you would have accepted the offer from the Bears last year (more than market, by the way) then you could have been showered with love and admiration for the entire season. Now you just sound like a grumpy old man. I wish it could be different Brian, but that’s just the way it is. Please come back.

    Signed,
    Reality

  14. yourfavoriteteamstinks says: Mar 7, 2014 7:22 AM

    The reality is that Hester is just a special teams player

  15. punkyqb says: Mar 7, 2014 7:24 AM

    Hester was great but it’s time for him to move on, it’s a business.

  16. infectorman says: Mar 7, 2014 7:24 AM

    Tito, Get me a tissue

  17. indymarc says: Mar 7, 2014 7:26 AM

    One time I got fired for making too much money. They felt someone else could do my job and pay them less. Life offers no guarantees.

  18. patsfan1820 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:28 AM

    Why should Urlacher even care? He doesn’t even play anymore. If Trestman wants to move in a different direction that’s his business. Football isn’t about loyalty at the end of the day it is a business.

  19. mnsadsportsfan says: Mar 7, 2014 7:28 AM

    Someone is still bitter.

  20. redeemerac says: Mar 7, 2014 7:30 AM

    Business is business Brian, sometimes teams let guys go….teams that put loyalty over winning will be at the bottom of standings every year.

  21. gerrybertier says: Mar 7, 2014 7:30 AM

    Bill always said there’s no reward for loyalty in this business

  22. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 7, 2014 7:30 AM

    Maybe… urlacher could have retired earlier instead of hanging on year after year like annoying hgh/steroid cheater tony gonzalez.

    polamalu and miller are declining rapidly (just like the steelers franchise)… but… they are playing at a higher level (occasionally) than urlacher did at the end of his career.

    I will bet anyone that polamalu limps into retirement two or three seasons too late (after embarrassing himself to all football fans).

  23. jimbo75025 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:35 AM

    In other words, Urlacher is not very high on the new(ish) Bears regime……..

  24. myworldurjuslivinit says: Mar 7, 2014 7:36 AM

    Simple math: Old + $$$ = your not getting resigned

  25. packerfaninsandiego says: Mar 7, 2014 7:38 AM

    Urlacher still crying?

  26. olcap says: Mar 7, 2014 7:43 AM

    The answer is that pro football is not really a “team” sport anymore, much like the other popular professional sports have become, by creating, rather than a team, a collection of individual successful millionaires that come with their own quirks, habits, persona, etc.

    Increasingly, due to social media of course to a great degree, more and more athletes are becoming celebrities in their own right. When it comes time for a new contract in their field of “entertainment”, they are going to look for the bigger bucks, just like any other celeb would.

    Welcome to NFLE.

  27. nokoolaidcowboy says: Mar 7, 2014 7:43 AM

    Some franchises are still more loyal than others but it’s still a numbers game.

  28. masher1965 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:44 AM

    Hey Brian, loyalty works BOTH WAYS. How was YOUR loyalty when you whined about your contracts, and the Bears re negotiated when they did NOT have to ?? You could have remained loyal and said, “no, I signed a contract”, couldn’t you?? When your last contract was up, did you start off thinking , ” well, I am in my mid 30’s and been injured a lot AND the Bears could use some break on the cap , so I won’t ask for 5 million a year to start off with , I’ll be LOYAL to the organization that reupped me a couple times so my contract was keeping up with the times.” Nope, Seems your idea of LOYALTY is one way , to you and NEVER from you . Here is a suggestion, Brian, change your diaper and STOP YOUR WHINING.

  29. b3nz0z says: Mar 7, 2014 7:44 AM

    Sorry, but new coaches get to build the team how they want, and you don’t give out contracts for what someone did in seasons past. It’s one of the ugliest parts of the nfl, but it’s how teams stay competitive.

  30. zo121179 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:48 AM

    The same reason why Chicago didn’t give you $4 mil when they offered you $2 mil. That was the “loyalty” you were looking for. Call it cheap but even I knew that after week 13 of the 2012 season you weren’t coming back.

    I like #23. I wish they would have used him as a slot man or just snapped him the ball and let him make a play rather try to turn him into something he wasn’t. For now, just too much money to pay for a guy that only returns kicks.

  31. monitogrande says: Mar 7, 2014 7:50 AM

    Loyalty is great and all, but I think it’s unrealistic and naive on Urlacher’s part to expect loyalty from a professional team ( a business) that is all about the bottom line: winning, and saving money.

  32. oldbyrd says: Mar 7, 2014 7:53 AM

    I know a team that can really use him. THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

  33. swanderj1 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:53 AM

    Amen.

  34. cuda1234 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:53 AM

    Hester will end his career in another uniform like Urlacher did? They’re both done. It happens.

  35. Punk says: Mar 7, 2014 7:54 AM

    In other news Urlacher reports being disappointed in DVDs and cell phones saying, “and what is the deal with DVD players? I mean you have the movie on VHS, is it going to be a better movie on DVD? And what is wrong with grandma’s rotary phone? We don’t need to talk while we walk. Come to think of it, remember the good ole days when an operator would connect you? Nancy, Alameda 341 please.”

  36. bartpkelly says: Mar 7, 2014 7:54 AM

    Loyalty is where it has always been…players leave for more money:teams try to balance their money and win.
    Both parties are loyal to money,
    players = family+money
    teams = winning + money

  37. greymares says: Mar 7, 2014 7:54 AM

    Anybody else tired of Urlacher the crybaby? This guy just doesn’t understand that if your not playing at a high level, your not the player you used to be. There is always the new hotshot that’s going to replace you. Get your money when you can. and shut up when you can’t.

  38. sidk1121 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:56 AM

    Loyalty doesn’t win football games

  39. shardar says: Mar 7, 2014 7:56 AM

    Dear Brian,
    the NFL is a business. It’s about money and success. It’s not about loyalty. If the numbers aren’t there, you aren’t there. That might be tough but that’s what it is – a business.

  40. ✦ Pittsburgh is the City of Champions ✦ says: Mar 7, 2014 7:56 AM

    Hester is excellent return man and that’s about it. Still, he’s only had one returning touchdown in the last two years. How much are you willing to pay for the sake of loyalty?

  41. crazycane says: Mar 7, 2014 7:58 AM

    “It’s a business” -Urlacher when he held out.

    J J J Jaded.

  42. danksteady says: Mar 7, 2014 7:58 AM

    The Bears are just like their city. NO CLASS. All you FIBS can vote this down or start crying in the comments, but you know it is true !

  43. howiefeltersnatch says: Mar 7, 2014 8:00 AM

    Where is the loyalty? How about ten years and millions upon millions of dollars?

  44. boondocksaint224 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:00 AM

    Yeah, the Bears should totally overpay these guys who have dropped off physically, and hold back team progress because it’d make these guys feel better about getting old.

    Shut up and go away already, Urlacher.

  45. tenotnamedmiller says: Mar 7, 2014 8:01 AM

    Urlacher ripping the Bears. Shocking.

  46. mrstinkypants says: Mar 7, 2014 8:04 AM

    Sounds like Urlacher forgets the NFL is a business, not a family.

  47. Shinnbone says: Mar 7, 2014 8:05 AM

    loyalty?

    Really Urlacher? Why did you forget that the organization your referring about has made Hester and yourself MULTI MILLIONAIRES? Stop your crying.

    Oh I forgot the Bears (who I hate) “disrespected” you with their 5 million dollar offer last year. Your right I guess who the hell can survive on a measly 5 million dollars a year. My bad.

  48. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Mar 7, 2014 8:07 AM

    Get over it Urlacher! Bill Walsh waived Ronnie Lott!

  49. osubrndn says: Mar 7, 2014 8:07 AM

    The reason he’s leaving is bc of loyalty, you have to be loyal to your business and fan needs. and a player that makes too much money infringes on that.

  50. historyisyourfriend says: Mar 7, 2014 8:07 AM

    Being a Steelers fan myself I find it funny that Urlacher references the Steelers paying Troy and Heath as what the Bears should be doing with Hester. In case you didn’t know Brian, the Steelers have to manage every year massive salary cap issues because they are loyal to (most of) their players and keep paying them well past when they should.

    Maybe you should find a better argument to make your case Urlacher – this era of free agency/salary cap doesn’t allow for total loyalty to a player. Have to remember it is a business first.

  51. jerruhjones says: Mar 7, 2014 8:08 AM

    It’s a business Brian, they’re not your friends.

  52. hodag54501 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:08 AM

    America 2014: Corporate loyalty means you get to keep your job another 15 minutes if you made me money the last 15 minutes.
    Definition of a long-term employee: two weeks on the job.

    Legacy: you lasted a year.

  53. GBwomenrhot says: Mar 7, 2014 8:10 AM

    Hey Brian, FYI, every time you open your mouth you make a bigger fool of yourself….just because you were a heck of an NFL Player doesn’t give you any rights to be a moron whenever you speak.

    Dude, the day of paying for a Kick Returner is OVER! That happened when they moved the kick off up, so it’s a little different than what the Steelers did.

    No one is paying just to be a nice guy….let go of your GRUDGE and GET A LIFE!!!!

    Signed, A Bears Fan

  54. 5046packer says: Mar 7, 2014 8:10 AM

    Totally agree with the guy….

  55. youngs79 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:10 AM

    It’s a business! Who can afford to pay a kick returner what he is making.

  56. imjinrat says: Mar 7, 2014 8:11 AM

    What better way to stick it to the Bears than by breaking the record as a Packer?

  57. rjg427 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:11 AM

    oh brian…a bitter pill is hard to swallow

  58. ebr362 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:11 AM

    Loyalty is a two way street. I think players need to remember its a numbers business and when a player is at the tail end of the back nine of his career he cant expect the top dollars that they were paid in their hayday. If the player had the same loyalty that they expect from the team they would be more realistic with their demands. Remember Urlacher wanted bigger money than he was worth from the bears and they didn’t resign him and no one else did when he was free to sign elsewhere. There is a saying, “pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered”. Hester needs to understand his ONLY real position is becoming extinct with the new rules and he should adjust his pay expectations accordingly, imho.

  59. DaveKShape says: Mar 7, 2014 8:12 AM

    I get what he’s saying, but after such a long time in the league, it should be no surprise to Urlacher that these kind of things happen.

    He probably saw hundreds of dudes get cut while he was a Bear, and while he certainly was light years ahead of most of them talent-wise (and much more meaningful to the team), his time had to come too eventually.

  60. sensiblevoice says: Mar 7, 2014 8:13 AM

    I respect Urlacher a lot but he is just flat out wrong on this. Football is a buisness.

  61. mikrss1 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:14 AM

    Urlacher couldn’t play anymore so the Bears let him walk, that’s football. Hester can play but the Bears have no defense and need to rebuild and so they can’t afford Hester, it’s that simple. Urlacher was a great player but a complete cement head.

    Left unsaid is that Devin Hester already would’ve broken the returns TD record if Lovie Smith hadn’t wasted a couple of years trying to make Devin into a Number 1 receiver.

  62. whatjusthapped says: Mar 7, 2014 8:14 AM

    I’m surprised Urlacher said anything, his mouth is so puckered from sucking on sour grapes.

    The Bears cut you because you were old, declining, and over paid, get over it.

  63. jgk1250 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:15 AM

    Brian, if your agent and you did not overplay your hand, you would have retired a Bear, and got the biggest standing “O” in Bears history on the last game of the year.

  64. bigwinintx says: Mar 7, 2014 8:18 AM

    The NFL is a business, not a fraternity where you can hang out.
    If you don’t produce or are not in the team’s plans, the team has an obligation to it’s fans and to the inevitable goal to make itself into the most worthy of contenders, and if that means it should release you, then so be it.

    The Bears don’t owe you anything, they paid you for your services, gave you a chance to live your dream and now it’s time to move on to the next chapter of your life.

    By the way Brian, how many rings can you show if you’re going to compare yourself to a guy like Troy?
    Exactly.

  65. vikescry1 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:20 AM

    so wait a minute?? when a player wants a new contract it’s just business, yet when a club releases a player there’s no loyalty?? oh i get it now, thanks… smh

  66. keltictim says: Mar 7, 2014 8:21 AM

    The teams that compete every year for the title (ok so really it’s a short list with The Patriots on top of it) show loyalty to one thing, winning. As a GM you cannot allow emotions to control your locker room. Brian mentions the steelers, who year in year out struggle with salary cap issues and haven’t really competed for a title in quiet awhile. Loyalty has no place in today’s NFL locker room.

  67. richardmb52 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:26 AM

    Overrated player & lousy commentator. Get a life man.

  68. getyourownname says: Mar 7, 2014 8:28 AM

    The front office knows that any fans who complained about lack of loyalty will soon jump onto the “why didn’t the team make the right personnel choices” wagon as soon as the team starts losing.

  69. drsummeroff says: Mar 7, 2014 8:28 AM

    Lmao, this is rich. Bunch of armchair GM’s here telling a guy who made more in a year than you smart guys will make in your lives about football and business. Get back to work fellas.

  70. binarymath says: Mar 7, 2014 8:29 AM

    So Urlacher is lobbying:

    1. for “no veteran left behind” and
    2. that fans should be OK with players who finish their careers as overpaid underachievers that
    3. tie up salary space and keep the team from being competitive?

    Uh Brian, there’s a Mr. Amaro on line 1; something about an assistant GM job in Philly. He also wants to know if you can pitch.

  71. breakingseether says: Mar 7, 2014 8:30 AM

    Loyalty left when Devin declared he will only be a kick returner as well as shown in the past he can’t handle more than one task during a game. Be different if the Bears had excess in cap room.

  72. 3yardsndust says: Mar 7, 2014 8:33 AM

    It’s not just that football is a business. It is. But it’s an AMERICAN business.

    Welcome to our world. Normal people don’t have any job security. Our benefits are cut every year. Our “retirement” expectations are lowered every year. And at a certain point, age discrimination will push us out the door and make us un-hireable.

    America is not a country for the weak of heart. If I were a multi-millionaire ex-football player, I would consider how good I have it, how hard others have it, quit whining, and be grateful.

  73. jward9478 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:36 AM

    Hester is one dimensional. He can’t catch and he can’t tackle. And because of the new kick off rules that one dimension he excelled at becomes less meaningful. It is difficult for a team to give up a roster spot for someone who is only valuable for one thing, punt returns.

  74. joeinoh says: Mar 7, 2014 8:37 AM

    Players, in any sport, can’t have it both ways. When the player leaves for bigger money-they claim it is a business decision. But when the tables are turned, as in this instance, players (or retired players) claim there is no loyalty. In the long run in is alwys the fan left with a useless jersey.

  75. britishteeth says: Mar 7, 2014 8:38 AM

    OK, admittedly I haven’t seen/heard him on Fox Sports1, but if he can’t speak intelligently about the Bears, what can he speak intelligently on? I bet I already know the answer.

  76. razzlejag says: Mar 7, 2014 8:39 AM

    First time ever- I agree with almost every comment above…especially the one about moving the kickoff up to eliminate the reutrns. That alone diminishes the value of a returner considerably.

    Retire the guy’s number? C’mon, a special teamer?

    Go play on Twitter with Wade, Brian. At least he makes a good case.

  77. ✦ Pittsburgh is the City of Champions ✦ says: Mar 7, 2014 8:44 AM

    Troy and Heath are all-time greats. You can’t really compare them to this situation.

  78. jwisz says: Mar 7, 2014 8:45 AM

    Brian forgets that he was offered 2m to retire a Bear, but it wasn’t a “loyal” enough offer to him. SMH.

    I hope Hester was offered something before he was shown the door. I am sure going to miss 23.

  79. droopyyydog1 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:47 AM

    No one pays special teamer’s that type of cash so this should not be a surprise. I would love to see him come back to Miami but the reality is the money he wants just isn’t worth it.

    As for Urlacher’s claim there is no loyalty, well boys it goes both ways. As a player it has to be difficult to try and maximize your value and be a team player but again whats more important, winning the Super Bowl or biggest bank account ?

  80. hornbuckle says: Mar 7, 2014 8:48 AM

    Signing Heath and Troy is going to cost the Steelers in wins though.

  81. footballfan12289 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:50 AM

    I agree that they should at least try to sign Hester to a cheaper deal that would allow him to retire a bear.

    But Urlacher needs to grow up!! He is still upset about how things went down with his departure.

  82. jwisz says: Mar 7, 2014 8:50 AM

    packattack1967 says:
    Mar 7, 2014 7:18 AM
    There’s only one number 23 retired in Chicago by the way and it shall stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    ———————————————————–

    Crunch your numbers again “pack attack”. You are leaving out at least one #23 that not only has his number retired but that also sits comfortably in the HOF.

  83. gridassassin says: Mar 7, 2014 8:54 AM

    Rod Woodson, Chad Brown, Kevin Greene, Gregg Lloyd, James Harrison and Larry Foote scoff at Urlacher’s drivel – and there are MANY more Steelers too.

  84. artvan15 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:00 AM

    The 2 of you don’t get it. It’s a business!!!

  85. shaggytoodle says: Mar 7, 2014 9:02 AM

    I understand he comes off as bitter, but lets not just chalk this up to being a grumpy guy.

    The Bears hand out picks and money for Cutler, $$$ for Peppers.

    When it came time to take care of Forte it was like pulling teeth.

    So while I understand those guys are on their way out, I do think there is some truth in his comment.

  86. higheriqthanyou says: Mar 7, 2014 9:04 AM

    1. Steelers keep sliding as they show loyalty.

    2. Why is it that when players opt for FA and all they money they can get it’s a ‘business move’, but when the wheels begin to wobble yet they still want the same pay checks it’s a ‘loyalty issue’?

    I’m sure the Bear’s would have loved to keep him if he would have been loyal enough to them to reduce his contract significantly.

  87. jbl429 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:05 AM

    Lovie also stopped having Hester return kicks and tried to turn him into a WR. If I’m Hester, a special teams ace in a league trying to get rid of special teams, I go to the highest bidder and get as much money as possible while I still play a position that exists in the league.

  88. eustus says: Mar 7, 2014 9:07 AM

    Loyalty is for losers. And of ALL the teams to point to, do you really want to point to the Steelers who are NOTORIOUS for jettisonning guys towards the end of their prime?

    You don’t win football games by paying guys past their sell-by date.

  89. Ed Bandell says: Mar 7, 2014 9:14 AM

    Hester is due a veteran minimum salary of over a million dollars.

    He’s a completely one dimensional player, he doesn’t play defense (remember when he was a CB?) anymore and he doesn’t play offense anymore (remember when they tried to make him a WR?). So he ONLY comes in for kick offs and punt returns.

    Sure he’s one of the best in the game at it right now, but who is to say they don’t draft another rookie who is the next return specialist for about 1/5 the salary of Hester?

    Football players get to earn millions of dollars. Even the scrubs make thousands and thousands of dollars a year, more than most anyone else does at a regular job. Part of the reason why they get to make so much is because of free agency. Players wanted the ability to choose where they want to play and to sign bigger contracts. There goes your loyalty.

  90. harveyredman says: Mar 7, 2014 9:14 AM

    To all those commenting that the NFL is “just a business” etc…

    Remember that, the next time a player outplays his contract and holds out for more money. It’s a business and if a team can cut or restructure you as soon as they feel like , then it makes sense to ensure you never outplay your contract.

    NFL careers are normally short. Get paid when you can. Loyalty is for family

  91. billytodd2013blbaad says: Mar 7, 2014 9:17 AM

    can He just go away, he needs to realize that the NFL is a business and there is only loyalty to a point not to mention no one is saying how much Hester was asking for a new contract, in this new age of the NFL the QB gets the big money and everyone else gets a smaller portion of the pie.

  92. isphet71 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:21 AM

    There’s something to be said about loyalty to your players and how it manifests itself over the long term.

    Moving every 3 years is a huge pain, no one likes to do it. What Chicago is saying right now is that you WILL be moving again at the end of your career if you come here.

    Chicago is not going to be a destination of choice for NFL vets and free agents that want to go somewhere and settle down; let their kids stay in the same school district for the rest of their careers, etc.

  93. jpb12 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:23 AM

    Nobody signed Urlacher or Hines Ward… and for good reason.

    Steelers will regret signing an old and slow safety, and wonder why they can’t afford an O-Line.

  94. moeman79 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:26 AM

    There is not any loyalty in the NFL, unless the team is trying to get a “hometown discount”. I always want to get mad at players who say they outplayed their contract or hold out for more. The glaring truth is that they should, the window that a player is in their prime is small and once its gone no one will care that you were player of the year 3 years ago or how many pro bowl you were elected to. Its about next season.

  95. rufustfireflyjr says: Mar 7, 2014 9:28 AM

    Pittsburgh signed those guys (probably to team-friendly contracts) because they thought they could still play. As everybody above points out (and as Urlacher is well aware), there is no loyalty in pro football, especially in the salary cap era. That’s why I have no problem with the players getting as much $$ as they can, when they can.

  96. mantastic54 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:31 AM

    The steelers are not the team you want to be modeling your salary cap management after. Bears are plenty loyal, they had no problem reworking urlachers deal and giving him a raise when he had 3-4 years left on his contract, they did the same for Briggs and they’ve signed about 10 of their free agents. Now that the Bears have a top ten offense, there just isn’t the need to overpay for a guy who can only return kicks

  97. billh1947 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:31 AM

    The Packers need a great returner and decent reciever and have a little money to spend,would TT dare bring a Packers div.rival thorn to his team,as for Hester,hell,if you cant beat them join them seems accurate and he would actually see the playoffs again before he retires catching passes from Rodgers.a win win for both partys.

  98. humpofdc says: Mar 7, 2014 9:33 AM

    Using my best Jim Mora voice, “Loyalty….LOYALTY!”

  99. vikinganswer says: Mar 7, 2014 9:33 AM

    Thats funny. I was thinking the same thing about the players!!

  100. fleaman1381 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:35 AM

    Sanders was more than a special teams guy and contributed on the field as a defensive player too (though I remember him as being a poor tackler he was always a threat to get the INT if you threw his way). Hester has more TDs as a return man than as a WR… Not a knock on Hester, just saying $1.8 mil per year is a bit much for a guy that plays a minute or two in the game and puts points on the board 2 or 4 times a season.

    As for the Polamalu/Miller comment, I’m a Steelers fan and love both of those guys. I’m OK with Heath, but they should have let Troy go. His style of play leads to injuries and he’s not young any more.

  101. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 7, 2014 9:37 AM

    Just because the Steelers have an affinity for older expensive players doesn’t mean the Bears shouldn’t be trying to get younger and cleaning up their cap mess. They were too loyal with giving money and contracts to players in the past that they can’t afford everybody and they have to lose a lot of their own FAs this year. With the new rules that make return specialists less valuable there is no way they can keep Hester around for such a small role. Look at the list of their FAs and the cap numbers they have Brian, do your research and understand this isn’t about not wanting to show loyalty, it’s just a tough numbers game that their lousy GM stuck them with.

  102. molsonexport says: Mar 7, 2014 9:39 AM

    Next!

  103. jagsfan1 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:41 AM

    Hey Meathead – the loyalty can be found in the same place it would be if the Packers, Vikes, or Lions offered you millions more per year to play for them when you were a FA.

  104. 2liveted says: Mar 7, 2014 9:49 AM

    the goal of being a gm is to have the best roster possible to win games while staying under the cap this and future years. you don’t keep people around for the nostalgia factor. urlacher just sounds dumb.

  105. fwippel says: Mar 7, 2014 9:53 AM

    Good grief, what does Urlacher want?

    The players wanted free agency and they got it. The owners are free to let the player find a better payday elsewhere.

    My guess is that Hester could have taken a pay cut and stayed in Chicago, but that didn’t happen. Hester will likely land the kind of contract he’s seeking in due course.

    I don’t see the owners whining when a quality player decides to leave the franchise that drafted him for greener pastures. But if a team doesn’t want to meet that player’s demands, this is what happens.

  106. rajbais says: Mar 7, 2014 9:56 AM

    Loyalty??? This is the NFL. It’s a business and loyalty is irrelevant.

  107. rickytheviking says: Mar 7, 2014 10:00 AM

    Hey Hester

    Come to the Vikes!!!

    Patterson & Hester

    Oh My!!!

  108. nkane40 says: Mar 7, 2014 10:01 AM

    packattack1967 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:18 AM

    Hester is a one trick pony and that trick is waning. There’s only one number 23 retired in Chicago by the way and it shall stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    Are you talking about Jordan or Sandberg. That’s 2 number 23’s retired in Chicago.

  109. ajgreenhof says: Mar 7, 2014 10:04 AM

    Sour grapes.

  110. xli2006 says: Mar 7, 2014 10:12 AM

    Loyalty? For a Kick Returner?

    He’s a #3 WR at best and hasn’t been the standout KR as he was early in his career.

    If you ignore things like Cap Space, Production, Roster Spots, and Age then sure Brian it’s all about “loyalty”.

  111. beardowntx says: Mar 7, 2014 10:15 AM

    Brian Urlacher has bitter Bear face.

  112. shlort says: Mar 7, 2014 10:18 AM

    Loyalty is delivered on payday during the season when teams make players millionaires for playing a game.

  113. glac1 says: Mar 7, 2014 10:23 AM

    these athletes don’t mention loyalty when their contracts are up! It’s time to grow up Mr. Urlacher…you’re sounding like another spoiled athlete that has no concept….

  114. pampabear says: Mar 7, 2014 10:32 AM

    OMG Urlacher. Do you still live in the ice age? It’s business. When has a professional sports team ever just kept someone around for pure loyalty. It doesn’t happen! It didn’t happen for you, it didn’t happen for Hester, and it won’t happen for any other player. Get over it!

  115. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 7, 2014 10:36 AM

    There’s Loyalty to the owner’s and the fans from the coaching staff! They’re trying to win not mess around with overpaid and older players. No offense Brian, but you need to take a look at things from a business stand point and that trumps signing players that are too expensive that just don’t put your team in a position to win anymore….

    Thanks for everything DH, you will always be remembered in Chicago, no matter what!

  116. bert1913 says: Mar 7, 2014 10:41 AM

    as a nfl football fan i rather watch faster and stronger players than slower and weaker players. there is a reason why the nfl is so popular (non guaranteed contracts) and baseball is not (guaranteed contracts)

  117. salvi18 says: Mar 7, 2014 10:42 AM

    It’s amazing the amount of money these idiots make and yet they still complain, it’s a kids game bro go bag your groceries and stop seeking the spotlight, oh and don’t forget to sue the league in a few years for concussions

  118. footballchic777 says: Mar 7, 2014 10:48 AM

    Hey Brian, loyalty doesn’t get W’s. Is a great heartfelt thought, but that’s all it is. This is a business, and owners are in it to make as much money as they can. Appreciate the ABUNDANT SALARY you have made and move on.

  119. pthepro49 says: Mar 7, 2014 11:05 AM

    Its a business Brian. You should know that but as we all know your not the smartest dude in the world.

  120. briang123 says: Mar 7, 2014 11:27 AM

    They don’t owe Hester or Urlacher loyalty or extra years on their contracts because of prior excellent play. The teams owe us loyalty as the paying customers and owe us the best possible team they can put on the field. Urlacher got an extra year or two, and the fact that no one signed him when he still wanted to play is undeniable proof that he was finished. And Hester hasn’t been Hester for years. Using his logic and extending it to my time, McNabb and Westbrook should still be the QB and RB, and Dawkins should still be the starting safety. I love 2 of those 3 guys (you can guess which if the 3 I don’t) , but there comes a time to move on.

  121. RavenzGunnerz says: Mar 7, 2014 11:31 AM

    Yet, the players are not allowed to be disloyal?

    When I am employed with a company, they have the right to fire me at any given time, but I also have the right to quit at any given time.

    They will not franchise tag me or prevent me from working at another company…

    This is were i understand what Urlacher is saying.

  122. noladat says: Mar 7, 2014 11:38 AM

    He made a friggin ton of money. The last few years the bears got little in return on that contract! Was not a wr anymore. For your return guy making that when he is in essense taken out of the game by rules and good punters is just plain stupid!

    I am glad he made as much as he did.

    Brian quit complaining and count your money! Nobody else wanted you.

  123. FlashPatterson says: Mar 7, 2014 11:39 AM

    They’ve been too loyal to Hester.. the dude isn’t half of what he was and its been that way for a while.

  124. baltimoresnativeson says: Mar 7, 2014 11:45 AM

    Where are all these “this is a business” preachers when players hold out?

    Remember this is a business when the next guy on your favorite team demands more money.

    Contracts aren’t honored both ways folks.

  125. channer81 says: Mar 7, 2014 11:46 AM

    If Montana, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice and a plethora of other players can get their pink slips. Anyone can, Hester is no exception

  126. imbetteratlifethanyou says: Mar 7, 2014 12:00 PM

    Loyalty = signing a guy that is a step slower and the end result is making your team a little worse at that position.

    Not being loyal = getting younger and faster and probably better at that position… and oh yeah, cheaper so you can go after other free agents that will make your team better.

    Sorry Brian – as a fan, I don’t care about loyalty. I care about winning. Players jump ship all the time for money, how come you don’t complain about that?

  127. rootgamble says: Mar 7, 2014 12:11 PM

    Dear Brian Urlacher

    Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Brett Favre, Reggie White, Deion Sanders, etc…

    Plenty of players, even the great ones, don’t spend their whole careers with one team. It’s not about loyalty, it’s about business.

    Remember that time you thought it wasn’t loyal that the Bears were the only team that even wanted you in a uniform last season? Their “low ball” offer was more than any other team was willing to give you. Get over yourself and go away.

    Love, Bears fans

  128. baddegg says: Mar 7, 2014 12:26 PM

    You can say “this is a business” all you want but some businesses actually do operate taking into account loyalty, ethics, etc. In fact, some people think that those core values make your business better — not worse.

    If money was the only factor then Chick-fi-la would be open on Sundays…just sayin…

  129. firejerry says: Mar 7, 2014 12:32 PM

    Yes, Brian there is no loyality—-the Bears paid you very well you entire career. However, last year they made you a fair offer($2M) and you were not loyal to them. I happen to think Loyality is a two way street.

  130. seansds3d says: Mar 7, 2014 12:39 PM

    The fans demand wins but even more so upper management demands wins so they can make more money from the fans… I’m huge Bronco fan and it sucks that they cut Champ but all teams have to put loyalty aside to get those wins so they can make more money. And that’s how the world works.

  131. tictoccpthook says: Mar 7, 2014 12:39 PM

    Loyalty lives , as urea her points out, in Steelers . The pundits Blair out their noses that the Steelers are digging themselves into a cap space hole by signing Heath Miller and Troy Polamau to new contracts and preventing Worilds from leaving in free agency, while Big Ben’s contract is less than Flacco etc. All those Steelers are happy, along with their coaches, owners, and fans. That’s what leads to SuperBowl rings. Urea her knows, Hester knows, it’s time the pundits woke up.

  132. govtminion says: Mar 7, 2014 12:46 PM

    He has a point, but at the same time he should look at what the Steelers have become by holding on to guys like Polamalu and Miller long past when they should have.

    Not that letting Hester leave Chicago is a good idea, because it’s not, but using the Steelers as his model for loyalty shows what the problem with loyalty can be.

  133. packfanaj12 says: Mar 7, 2014 12:56 PM

    Jay Cutler pouty face, you have been paid millions of dollars, and the fact is that when the team is done with you, you have to accept it. They may have done you a favor by cutting you off, some players do not know when to quit.

  134. thesongoftime says: Mar 7, 2014 1:00 PM

    I think its funny how most of you talk to Urlacher like he will be reading your message. lol

  135. jmblosser82 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:08 PM

    Urlacher has to realize its a business and the new regime are going to want to install their own players. It’s not like the Bears have been good, Steelers had gone to 3 SBs in the past 11 seasons compared to the Bears line SB loss.

  136. steelcityfinest13 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:13 PM

    Sorry B baby……everyone can’t be as loyal as the steelers

  137. Frazier28/7 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:23 PM

    He’s a kick-returner. Its not like he’s Favre.

    Oh wait, their fans have no loyalty to him because he spent 2 years in purple. Pathetic>Packers.

  138. channer81 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:23 PM

    If it happened to Montana, Rice, and Emmitt Smith, it can happen to anyone.

  139. skewed1976 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:35 PM

    It’s exactly where your loyalty is Urlacher. To the dollars.

  140. nflstatnut says: Mar 7, 2014 1:36 PM

    packattack1967 says:
    Mar 7, 2014 7:18 AM
    Hester is a one trick pony and that trick is waning. There’s only one number 23 retired in Chicago by the way and it shall stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    There are actually two #23’s retired in Chicago… but Hester still doesn’t deserve to be the third!

  141. chad504boy says: Mar 7, 2014 1:41 PM

    Loyalty is to the fans to put the best product on the field possible.

  142. getyourownname says: Mar 7, 2014 1:45 PM

    “Big Ben’s contract is less than Flacco etc.”

    Actually, the cap hit for Ben ($18.9MM) for 2014 is more than for Flacco ($14.8) this year, and the salary for Ben ($12.1 MM) for 2014 is more than for Flacco ($6MM).

    It’s amazing how Steeler fans are unable to grasp this simple fact, no matter how many times it is explained to them.

  143. mightyminer says: Mar 7, 2014 2:11 PM

    That’s not the league we live in anymore.

    Look at Dallas and the loyalty Jerry has shown older players and where it’s gotten them

  144. tcoff0079 says: Mar 7, 2014 2:14 PM

    Look at what the Steelers have done the last couple days signing Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller. Ok Brian they resigned championship players so they could retire Steelers witch is loyal but guess what you nor Hester got it done. We DIDNT get our championship do you want us to waste our money signing has been’s and set us back another 5 years. WE WANT A CHAMPIONSHIP. Its almost been 30 years you guys had your chance. Next Up. P.S. I am a HUGE Hester fan (cant wait to see him finish out with all the return records) and use to be a HUGE Urlacer (until his true colors came out) fan but sit down enjoy your millions and stop ripping on a team and city that gave you all there love and support over the years.

  145. rick630c1 says: Mar 7, 2014 2:22 PM

    You can cut those “loyalty” cards several different ways: the way Urlacher is referring/viewing it. Then what about the players that run to another team for ‘a few dollars more’, where’s their loyalty. Another viewpoint is the team has a responsibility to it’s players to put the best people on the field it can, if they give contracts to aging vets that can still play BUT may have lost a step where is the team’s loyalty to the rest of the players to gain the advantage with better athletes that can get them to the promised land? I’m sure there are other viewpoints as regards to loyalty I haven’t mentioned or thought about but as far as loyalty goes in the NFL one can probably consider it a dead horse and I wish these players would quit kicking it!

  146. weepingjebus says: Mar 7, 2014 2:53 PM

    I agree with Urlacher. Yes, it’s a business. But loyalty can go a long way in improving a business. New players coming in are watching how the team handles its veterans, and when those new players only chase money and look out for themselves, you’ll have nobody to blame but yourselves. They’re not “prima donnas” — they’re just doing what you taught them to do.

  147. chicagosports2014 says: Mar 7, 2014 2:55 PM

    This is a what have you done for me lately league, URLACHER.

  148. kenny2neworleans says: Mar 7, 2014 3:19 PM

    Would love to see him break that record in the superdome wearing black and gold. At the league minimum of course!

  149. wnstonchill says: Mar 7, 2014 4:08 PM

    There’s nothing the Bears can do in this situation. The NFL has basically put kickoff returners out of business by moving the ball up to the 40 for the kickoffs. Has Hester been great, absolutely. Would it be nice to have him back, absolutely! But, there’s something called a salary cap in play and the Bears have something called a defense that can’t put a cigar out in a swimming pool!!! This is the addition by subtraction side of the business. It’s the nature of the beast. Urlacher needs to put his ego to rest and move on with life now. I don’t like the way the Bears handled his departure either, but it doesn’t change the fact that it still needed to happen…..

  150. larryboodry says: Mar 7, 2014 8:40 PM

    “Hester will end his career in another uniform like Urlacher did? They’re both done. It happens.”

    Urlacher ended his career as a Bear, FYI.

  151. one4u2cee says: Mar 8, 2014 2:14 AM

    While I agree that it`s unfortunate that there are no longer dynasty`s in any sport. It truly amazes me how these players start whining about loyalty from their teams when they no longer have the talent to shop themselves to other teams,then it becomes “POOR ME” my team should let me stay and retire here. Three years earlier they were holding out for more money. Where was the loyalty then? The age of entitlement!

  152. whutevr says: Mar 8, 2014 9:28 AM

    The Steelers haters always show up proving they don’t really know anything about football. Despite a big injury last season, Miller is still a big playmaker. Troy, once again, a Pro Bowl selection, still a playmaker. Pittsburgh has a lot of other dead weight on the team that was the cause of the past couple of disappointing seasons. And, if you know anything about football, you know what I’m talking about.

  153. haraldsigurdson says: Mar 8, 2014 3:02 PM

    The Bears will miss Hester. A dynamic return game is worth at least a couple wins per year.

  154. tban65 says: Mar 10, 2014 9:10 AM

    Pretty funny to see coming from Urlacher: he didn’t have any loyalty threatening the Bears with leaving or holding their feet to the fire BEFORE his contracts were up–he told us THEN it was “just business”. NOW he wants to see loyalty? When he lost a step and was the second lowest graded LB on the team, AND turned down $2 million/yr? Hello pot, this is the kettle calling….

    Hester’s problem was multi-faceted: he could NOT run solid routes as a WR nor hang onto the ball, and when they ran the end-around EVERYONE knew to key on him and it rarely worked. Lastly, when the NFL changed the kickoff rules, it took the ball out of his hands even further, so that his touches per game decreased, lessening his chances to score.

    I will give you that when he was in, he changed the game. Never before did I see teams elect to give the opposing team the ball on the 40+ yard line rather than kick it deep to a returner. But once the game changed, and his inability to run tight routes and hang onto the ball was shown, his value dropped. And the Bears are unfortunately right not to re-sign him to a huge contract, which is what he is looking for since this will likely be his last.

    If we want to talk about loyalty Mr. Urlacher, maybe Hester can give a hometown discount to stay with the team that helped make him a household name. Loyalty is a two-way street, and too often athletes only see one direction when they talk about it.

  155. Canned Heat says: Mar 11, 2014 1:39 PM

    He should’ve thought the same way on the loyalty thing and took last year’s offer and gone out like a champ to a hero’s send off with the Bears….on top or not.

    Instead….now we’re stuck with Favre 2.0 – Who. Will. Not. Go. Away.

  156. fmc651 says: Mar 13, 2014 10:41 PM

    The Bears loyally paid his contract Brian.

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