Chester Taylor will reappear on the practice field for the Chicago Bears today – a little more than 24 hours after he drove out of Halas Hall assuming he was being released.
In a bizarre turn of circumstances, the Bears have not released Taylor – yet.
The Bears are believed to be trying to trade the 31-year-old running back that averaged 2.4 yards per carry last season. If they don’t find a taker, they will most certainly release him before Saturday’s final cuts in order to avoid paying his $1.25 million salary this season. He has been replaced on the depth chart by Marion Barber.
Taylor signed a $12.5 million, four-year contract last year. He earned $7 million in 2010.
The Bears held Taylor out of Saturday’s preseason game at Tennessee. He was upset so he sought out coach Lovie Smith for an explanation Monday morning.
“I guess there was a little bit of a misunderstanding on what we talked about,” Smith said after practice. “Chester Taylor is still a part of the team.
“If a player is released, I will tell him that, 'You're released, thank you.' That is not the case. I talked to him about what happened in the last game in a private conversation.
“As far as what is going to happen later on, we have cuts coming up. We'll let everyone know who is a part of it then, they'll know. I don't talk anymore than that. I talked about what happened the last game.
“He wanted to talk to me, but guys talk to me always. I'm the head football coach. Players who are wondering a little bit about what is going on, I want them to come up and talk with me. Thought we had a good conversation. I guess it didn't go exactly like I thought it did.”
Maybe they can get the chat right by Saturday.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune