Before beginning, I want to thank everyone for the name suggestions for the weekly laugh at the Bears post. They were a ton of fun to read, and although they were all great suggestions, there can only be one winner. And the winning name is:
Congrats to @BigSnakeMan for the winning name suggestion. Not sure what the winner gets-I'll have to ask the prize dept and get back to you.
And now for this week's reason to laugh at the Bears: the Chester Taylor incident.
When Chester Taylor signed with the Bears last year it was the right thing for the Bears to do. Their offense was definitely in need of some more fireworks, and Taylor was expected to be just that. He was not going to have to be "the guy" since they already had that guy in Matt Forte. He could be what Mike Martz loves: a running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield, while also being able to run the ball. Most importantly, Taylor could give Forte the occasional breather, so he is not worn down by 30, as has happened to so many running backs before.
Flash forward to yesterday. Reports surfaced that Taylor had been informed he was being released.
A little while later, Taylor was being asked why he was not at practice. Not that this would have anything to do with the calf injury suffered by Marion Barber, the player who claimed the backup running back job from Taylor, would it? Nah, of course not.
Now apparently, it is a misunderstanding. Taylor was told by Bears coach Lovie Smith that he will not be part of the Bears plans when the final roster cuts take place, but was still expected to be at practice until then.
Taking into account the respect you might want to give a veteran player of the team's intent to move on, my question has to be why would you not just keep this to yourself if you were Lovie Smith? The best indication as to the direction the team was heading was given he received zero touches in their last game against the Titans. The reason given by Smith: they wanted to get a look at some other players.
I guess the 12.5 million reasons they gave Taylor the previous March weren't enough to warrant giving Taylor another look.
But the question remains why would you tell Taylor of this decision? Did nobody in the Bears front office think he was going to just keep this to himself? Did they think he would not inform his agent?
Not all of the blame goes to the Bears. Some of it has to fall on Taylor himself. Not being part of an NFL franchise and knowing all of the details of the structure of contracts, I imagine that if there is a player who is going to be released, there is a process which takes place. A coach telling a player that he is not part of the future may be part of the process, but in the case of Taylor, I would hope that Bears GM Jerry Angelo would have some part of that discussion with him, considering it was his decision to spend $12.5 million on a player who produced next to nothing in his time in Chicago. I would really hope so.
Of course, this is the same team who has been known to announce the hiring of a head coach before a contract agreement had been reached and messed up draft day trades so the Chester Taylor incident is par for the course.
Congrats to the Chicago Bears on yet another winning PR move.