In most professions, if a co-worker announces that he can't do his job for $445,000 a year, you'd punch him in the face. Professional sports is different -- a half-million bucks is blue-collar money -- and that's why the Chicago Bears' only scoring threat, Devin Hester, has declared he is sitting out training camp until he gets a new deal.
Viva La Revolución! Or something.
"I'm not coming," [Hester] said by phone. "I have to make a statement. I showed by going to [organized team activities] that I was a team player. But then, I just felt they weren't taking it seriously that I wanted to get a new deal.The Bears were surprised by Hester's decision, primarily because they were in the middle of working on an extension. The problem, it seems, is that the organization is having trouble measuring Hester's worth because he's a man without a true position.
"I can't go out and play this year making $445,000. Come on, man."
[Hester] wants to be paid as a receiver, but the Bears are willing to pay him only as the league's highest-paid special teams player-a deal that no doubt would fall short of Hester's mark.This, folks, is how you insure a four-win season. Make seemingly arbitrary personnel decisions that include alienating the only player other than Robbie Gould capable of scoring, refusing to address the quarterback position, and signing Brandon Lloyd to "fix" the depth issues at wide receiver.
I'm not convinced Hester should be paid like one of the league's best wide receivers, but he's certainly worth more than whatever the top special teams player makes. As always, the organization has the leverage, so there's a chance this all gets worked out in short order. I mean, if Hester can't live on $445,000, he definitely can't make it on bupkes.