Chicago Bears

Ex-Bear J'Marcus Webb Hard to Like Even in Departure

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 15: J'Marcus Webb #73 of the Chicago Bears blocks Jamarkus McFarland #98 of the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field on August 15, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Chargers 33-28. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Andrew DannehyCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2013

Early this morning, the Chicago Bears made a decision that surprised almost no one, releasing former starting left tackle J'Marcus Webb. Webb's response to the decision was a classic example of what makes him hard to like and why he hasn't been successful.

He was the first to break the news of his release, doing so via Twitter saying "Good bye, Chicago! I gave you 3 years of me!" 

While most—such as rented quarterback Jordan Palmer—thank the fans and have kind words about the organization, Webb chose to take the low road. The literal translation to his tweet is that the Bears were lucky to have him and the fans were lucky to watch him. It's hard to take that any other way.

About an hour later, Webb went to Twitter again, this time repeating his resume and making sure everyone knows he will land on his feet.

He's probably right. He should get a job before too long and can start for a handful of teams in the league. The problem with Webb is not—and has never been—talent, it's been his attitude, and that showed in his comments after his release.

Most players thank the organization for giving them a chance, the fans for supporting them and their teammates for going to battle with them every week after they're released. Webb just wanted to talk about himself. Even that would be OK, if he referenced how hard he would work to improve and at least acknowledge that he needs to get better.

The former Bear is likely bitter. He was put into an unfair situation when he got to Chicago and didn't really get much of a chance to impress the new regime as a starter. They still gave him a chance to stay on the team, but his struggles in their last two preseason games ended any hope of a return.

My hunch—and it is just that—is that Webb was ready to be an ex-Bear. He didn't care how he performed in the last two preseason games because he wanted to go elsewhere. He certainly didn't seem disappointed in being released.

I still think the Bears could've traded Webb and gotten some minor value for him. If they were going to do that, they should've done it right after they cut his pay.

While it's common for Bears' fans to rip Pro Football Focus for their assessment of Webb in comparison with free agent addition Jermon Bushrod, but it's hard to deny the facts. I, too, have taken heat from Bears' fans because I've implied that Webb isn't terrible. He really wasn't awful last year. The Bears' line struggled, but Webb wasn't the problem.

He also wasn't the solution.

Webb came into the NFL as a seventh-round pick and just 20 years old. He wasn't ready to play right away, but the previous Bears' regime forced him into action. While he improved significantly in his three years of starting, his self-invented "JWebb Nation" put him in the spotlight more than any mediocre tackle should be.

It will be interesting to see where he goes from here. He's young, talented and experienced. I suspect he'll be playing somewhere this year and may even start for a team looking for help on their offensive line.

He'll be an NFL player, maybe even a starter. But the bigger question is if he'll ever reach his potential.

Early in this offseason, I saw an ascending player who just needed proper coaching to motivate him and perfect his fundamentals. His failure to acknowledge that his play had anything to do with his release or thank anyone who may have helped him with his few successes tells me a different story.

At this point, Webb needs to take some time and think about his future. He needs to decide if playing in the NFL is something he really wants to do or if he just wants the celebrity that comes with it.

He has hit rock bottom, if he really wants to be an NFL player he can do it. He can make the Bears regret releasing him.

Will he do it though?

Only he can control that. Webb should start by looking in the mirror and manning up to his role in his current situation.

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