Bears' loyalty to Vasher goes unrewarded

Chicago's decision to release cornerback Nathan Vasher came a year too late.

Whether it was injuries or confidence or a combination of both, Vasher was clearly an inferior player at the end of the 2008 season. He appeared in eight games that year, after making it through only four the season before, and had a $2.5 million roster bonus due before the 2009 season.

That seemed an appropriate time to part ways, but the Bears' loyalty to a key player on the 2006 Super Bowl team got the best of them. Against all logic, they believed Vasher could regain his starting job and give them the kind of playmaking that led to 13 interceptions in the first two seasons of his career.

Vasher, however, started only two games and lost his job to Zack Bowman. Any chance of competing for the 2010 nickel job was eliminated Tuesday after the Bears signed free agent Tim Jennings.

But don't shed many tears for Vasher, one of the genuinely good guys in the Bears locker room. As Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune points out, Vasher collected $18.6 million over the past three seasons.