On Thanksgiving Day it was announced that cornerback Nathan Vasher has re-injured the thumb that had previously been repaired, putting him out “indefinitely” according to Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith. The media is speculating that Vasher is done for the season, although Smith won’t admit it.
The real question should be, is Vasher done for good with the Bears? Injuries aside, Vasher had been seemingly falling out of favor with the Bears’ coaching staff in 2008. Given this, in 2009 he would be entering the third year of a five year, $28 million contract in Chicago.
I’d really like to know what exactly happened to cause Vasher’s demise over the past two season. In 2004, Vasher was a pleasant surprise as a fourth-round pick out of Texas, leading the team in interceptions as a rookie. In 2005 he made the Pro Bowl, becoming what looked like the best corner the Bears have seen play for them in years.
The following season, Vasher’s interception totals fell, but he was still a solid corner playing opposite Charles Tillman. Prior to the 2007 season, it looked like the Bears made an extremely shrewd move, signing him to a reasonable (reasonable?) $28 million when Nate Clements inked a $70 million deal in San Francisco.
Now it’s looking like Vasher will probably be cast aside, replaced by the more affordable Corey Graham so his remaining salary could be spent to shore up some other hole on the Bears.
Now I see why the Bears dumped Mark Bradley for little-known cornerback Marcus Hamilton.