CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16: Chester Taylor #29 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chester Taylor
The Chester Taylor Era may or may not be over.
Lovie Smith reportedly told the running back Monday morning that he wasn't in the team's plans.
Taylor took that to mean he would be released, Smith reportedly meant for Saturday's game.
"I talked to Chester today about the reasons why he didn't get any playing time the last game and that was that we wanted to take a look at other players, evidently he took it the wrong way," Smith said. "You're'' hearing it from me right now, he has not been released, I never told him he was released."
Taylor, who spent one year with the team and $7 million in guaranteed money, was summoned back to Halas Hall to discuss his role with the team.
His agent, Ken Sarnoff tweeted:
“Here’s a first for me — the Bears just called me and said they have NOT released Chester. He did talk with Lovie though...misunderstanding?”
In any case, Taylor, who was supposed to make up one half of a potent two-back set for the Bears, never turned into the back-up for Matt Forte that Jerry Angelo envisioned.
He wasn't among the five Bears who were cut -- which include Vernon Gholston, Tank Tyler, Trevor Vittatoe, J.C. Brignone and Tanner Antle.
Let's take a look at the highlights of his short tenure in Chicago:
Taylor signs with Chicago: Taylor had successful stints in Baltimore and Minnesota, but after two strong seasons for the Vikings, he languished behind Adrian Peterson. He was part of the Bears' free agent blitz in 2010, and was signed to a four-year, $12 million deal, $7 million of which was guaranteed. At the time, he said he wanted to make an impact for the Bears similar to that of Marshall Faulk and the Rams under Mike Martz.
Nine yards on three carries against Green Bay: When Taylor was signed with the Bears, there was discussion on a possible running back controversy. After Taylor picked up just three yards per carry in a pivotal early-season game, controversy talk was quelled.
Negative three yards on six carries against Philadelphia: The 31-26 win over Philly was spectacular for most of the Bears cast. Not for Taylor. He ended up in the negative, even with six carries.
One yard on three carries against New England: During this terrible weather game on Dec. 12, the Bears could have used an extra running threat. Too bad Taylor was not that, threat averaging 0.3 yards per carry in the snowy, 36-7 loss.
DNP, coach's decision, in pre-season against Tennessee: The writing was on the wall for Taylor as he did not play at all in the Bears game against the Titans.
Along with Julius Peppers and Brandon Manumaleuna, Taylor was part of a free agent spending spree in 2010 that was decidedly unBears-like. Though the Peppers signing worked out well, neither Taylor nor Manumaleuna developed into the players that they were expected to be. It's possible that this will make the Bears gun-shy on future big money signings.