"I wouldn't have taken the job if I thought I was on a week-to-week basis," Dent said after his release. "You could see putting that kind of pressure on yourself if you were your normal self, but I wasn't [healthy] yet. If I knew that was the case, I would have stayed on my rehab program and waited to sign. I felt much better each week. This week and next week I thought would be time to get after it."
"Do you ask a guy with Richard Dent's credentials to be a practice guy and inactive on Sunday?" said Wannstedt. "That would be disrespectful. Either he's an impact guy, or you go with a young guy."
But Dent viewed his release as an insult. "I feel what they did was disrespectful to what I've accomplished," he said.
Dent's career appears to be over. Two other teams who had expressed an interest before he signed with the Bears no longer desire his services. "He can't play anymore," said Cardinal coach Buddy Ryan. The Broncos, with nine defensive linemen, do not need another.
Dent's place in the Bears' history is so significant that his portrait hangs in the lobby of Halas Hall, the club's headquarters. He had always hoped to retire in Chicago. He just never envisioned his career would end so unceremoniously.