The Bears released defensive tackle Tommie Harris, linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer.
I feel rather badly for Harris, who apparently matured a great deal as he struggled to recover from injury. Chicago Sun-Times beat writer Sean Jensen quotes Harris:
‘‘’I learned that it’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it that will determine the outcome,’ Harris said days before an NFC Championship Game loss to the Packers. ‘You can either get in a situation where you can fold if things aren’t going the way you wanted or you can work harder to get out of that situation. I learned how to persevere through that.’’’
“’I grew up,’ he said. ‘I stopped pointing the finger at everybody else. I paid attention to myself, which was the most difficult thing to do.’’’
Hunter Hillenmeyer was released after problems with repeated concussions. It didn’t help that Hillenmeyer was the Bears union rep and was heavily involved with it. WSCR’s Zach Zaidman put this loss to the Bears the best:
“It’s a shame there aren’t more professional athletes with the class and dignity routinely displayed by Hunter Hillenmeyer.”
These are high character players that have generally become the rule with the Bears over the last seven or eight years. It says something about both the team and the individuals that we will miss them not so much as players but as men.