Brian Urlacher knows exactly how Devin Hester is feeling right now.
Urlacher spent all thirteen seasons of his career at the Chicago Bears and set multiple franchise records along the way.
But in his final season as a Bear he was released by Chicago despite his years of hard work and dedication to the team that resulted in eight Pro-Bowl appearances, four All-Pro nominations and one of the league's most popular players.
So near enough exactly a year after they released Urlacher, the Bears announced that punt and kick return wizard Devin Hester would not be receiving a new contract.
This didn't sit to well with Urlacher:
“I was really surprised to hear the news,” Urlacher told FOXSports.com. “You think of Devin returning all those punts and kicks as a Bear. 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.”
Although Hester is set to turn 32 next season, he is coming off a career year in which he ran for 1,442 kickoff return yards.
Hester continues to be a productive player, but it appears that Chicago never really wanted him to stay on the roster.
Urlacher criticised the Bears further, saying they lack all loyalty and devoted, hard working players whom the fans love just get cast aside without a moments thought.
“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 said. “The Bears could do that with Devin. He should retire a Bear. He set all those records in a Bears uniform, and his No. 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.”
The former linebacker went on to say that he hopes Hester does well at whichever club signs him, pointing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a reunion with coach Lovie Smith as the best place to go.
The Chicago Bears have previous for not honouring loyalty and it seems they still haven't learnt their lesson.