UPDATED NEWS 03.07.2014
A year after the Bears parted ways with veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher, the team announced its decision on Thursday to release return specialist Devin Hester, Ross Jones of FOX Sports reports.
Hester’s decorated eight-year career includes some of the most memorable moments in Bears’ history. The franchise, however, deemed Hester expendable, which caught Urlacher off guard.
“I was really surprised to hear the news,” Urlacher told FOXSports.com in a telephone interview. “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.”
“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.”
New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, set to become a free agent at the start of the new league year on Tuesday, said on Friday morning during an appearance on NFL Network's "NFL AM" that "both sides could benefit from a fresh start," Field Yates of ESPN Boston reports.
"I would never say never," he said of a return to New England before adding, "you know, everybody [says] you never want to burn a bridge, but I just feel like both sides could benefit from a fresh start.