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As Hester leaves Chicago, Urlacher wonders where the loyalty is

Brian Urlacher

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) waits for a play to begin in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


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 “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.