Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Mar 2010

Bears Release Nathan Vasher

The Bears have released cornerback Nathan Vasher.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 17 Mar 2010

23 comments, Last at 27 Mar 2010, 4:02am by sports-veronica


by Joe M. (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:24pm

Well that's interesting... could just be money I suppose, but if it is I sure hope they do something useful with that money.

(Money, from espn.com:
Base salaries for the rest of the extension are $2.9 million in 2009, $2.95 million in 2010, $3.45 million in 2011 and $3.7 million in 2012.

Does this mean the coming of Atogwe or similar? Or just a reaction to the signing yesterday of Jennings?

by Marko :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:41pm

I don't know if it means that, but at least in part it means that the Bears finally came to their senses. Based purely on playing ability (and ignoring salary cap concerns), this was a move that should have been made a long time ago, either before last season or during it. It has been obvious for a while that Vasher had completely lost his confidence. He was terrible in 2008 and even worse last year when he got on the field.

by Lou :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:59pm

I completely agree. Its too bad, he was a very valuable player on some great Bears defenses. he's not even a shadow of his former self anymore.

by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:18pm

I noticed that too. Vasher in my mind was a VERY good player and a reason they went to the super bowl. Then you see him two years ago and last year and he wasn't good. It's like, what the heck happened in two years? He's not old.

Maybe he's just not that into football. It's not every NFL players dream to be an NFL player, for some guys it's just something they are very good at that pays a lot of money. Maybe he stoped caring?

by Jimmy :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 7:20pm

When Vasher first got injured (it might have been a very bad hamstring injury) he got absolutely lit up. I doubt he had ever been hit that hard before and he hasn't been the same player since. Sometimes guys get hit so hard it changes their perception of the game and Vasher never really recovered, which is a shame. I also have some questions about how great he ever was as plenty of RCBs in the Tampa2 scheme seem to rack up picks. Probably a function of having a safety behind you on a regular basis which gives the corner the freedom to read the split end's route and then break on the ball. Fewer TEs and slots guys in the vicinity to muddle the reads (at least from base sets).

He did used to have an uncanny ability to make plays on the ball in his defence. That wasn't true for the last few years.

by tuluse :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 8:33pm

Tillman said that since he played receiver, he could tell what routes the receivers were trying to run against him. It gave him that little edge so he could jump routes at the right time, without getting burned deep.

by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 9:21pm

I agree with Jimmy, I think he has some good observations.

Also, you could pick up a whole crap load of tells off of receivers. If I was ever going to be an NFL position coach, I'd want to be a WR coach because there is so much sloppy play out there it's not even funny. If you know what to look for, and you can read people, and you understand offenses then then anticipation is less guess work and more reads. There are so many mistakes WR's make that it's not even funny.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:06pm


by GMan (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:26pm

I think some players can just get bored of football, as hard as that could be to imagine. It is just a job for them after all.

by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 5:11pm

See we are all football fans and most people would love to play in the NFL for just one game... But do you really want to put in ALL the effort that that entails? Weight training, running, working on your fundamentals, OTA's, Mini Camps, Training Camp, Pre-Season, a 4 game preseason, a grueling 17 week season, and then if you are "lucky", 4 more playoff games.

Not to mention that you have some of the best athletes in the world slamming into you, trying to take your WILL away from you. I mean, do you really want pulling lineman run at you... stupid WR's constantly talking trash... tackling up to 270 pound or so running backs?

It's not all it's cut out to be for some people. Maybe in Vashers mind he already "conquered" football ( he was darn good), and now it just doesn't interest him the way it did. He's rich, and doesn't have to kill himself, and his play suffered.

This totally might not be the case but it's strange how much he tailed off and so quickly so it might be so.

by Theo :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 9:37pm

With the build and talent... yeah, I'd give it a go.
I played it on the level I could and am still playing, but I know my ceiling ;)

by HostileGospel :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 10:21pm

Completely agree. People always talk about how great it is to do something you love for a living, but I'd never want to turn something I love into a job, because then it'd be work and not fun. Granted, this isn't true for everyone, but I have no trouble understanding how someone could end up not caring too much about football anymore. Fans should know better with all the media coverage we see, but we sometimes forget that competing at the highest level requires a tremendous amount of work, and not everyone wants to put in that work forever.

(reiterating the caveat that this may not have anything to do with Vasher at all)

There's a place I want to be. It's the NovaCare Center. That's in Philadelphia. One NovaCare Way, where the Eagles practice and then they eat cafeteria food and they watch film and we eat and we have fun.

-Donovan McNabb

by C (not verified) :: Thu, 03/18/2010 - 8:50pm


Leave it for the arrogant, opinionated, right more than you think jerk named C to point it out when the stat people can lose focus. I swear people hate on me but you don't have anyone else like me on your site and that's a good thing.

by tuluse :: Fri, 03/19/2010 - 12:42am

We don't hate you because we think your wrong. We hate you because of the tone of your writing.

by Eddo :: Fri, 03/19/2010 - 10:37am

Exactly. Why does everything have to turn into a "look how right I was and how much I bring to the table" with you, C?

by C (not verified) :: Fri, 03/19/2010 - 12:29pm

How do you feel about Bill Barnwell and the Football Outsiders tone?

by Eddo :: Fri, 03/19/2010 - 1:02pm

Just fine, or else I wouldn't keep returning to the site.

And they may believe they're always right (who doesn't, really?), but at least they don't constantly bring it up and harp on the same old vendettas time after time.

by Eddo :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 5:44pm

More likely, his decline was due to being injured. A lot.

by Independent George :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 6:19pm

Or both. He's almost certainly feeling the cumulative effects of playing in the NFL for several years, and that is likely affecting his motivation. It's not as dramatic as an ACL tear, but those little aches & pains add up over time, and when you've already got 7-8 figures in the bank, you start to wonder how much that last bit of extra effort is worth.

by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 9:18pm

Yeah nobody offered this up but it seems like even a couple people are buying my theory. It's not exactly a light thing to accuse to a guy either so I'm just saying it's a theory. Nobody exactly wants to hear " Hey, we can see you don't give a $hit about your job that in reality you are lucky to have".

I think more people in the NFL don't care than you might otherwise think, and Vasher looks like he could be a prime example. But is it really that hard to imagine that some people don't like grueling physical work followed by physical beatings and heightened media attention. I mean, if you are a GOOD player like Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens then media attention might be fun.

but do you think Rex Grossman & Shaun Suisham like media attention on their mistakes?

by Theo :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 9:35pm
by ChicagoRaider :: Thu, 03/18/2010 - 7:47am

I guess the real question is whether being cut fires him up again. It could.