All good things must come to an end, and Brian Urlacher parting ways with the Chicago Bears certainly falls into that category. Urlacher, 34, was destined to finish his stellar NFL career with the Bears, the only professional team he’s ever known. He led the Bears to their first Super Bowl appearance in 21 years back in 2007, a game they lost to the Colts, made 8-Pro Bowls, and was named first team All-Pro four times.
The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement this week with Urlacher saying publicly the Bears presented him with a take it or leave it offer for 1-year and $2 million dollars. An offer he ultimately declined. A new organizational philosophy is what Urlacher believes had a lot to do with the Bears moving in a different direction.
“Honestly, I had a feeling during the whole offseason that something like this would happen. I told my agent, I said I just don’t think they want me back. Lovie Smith is gone, new head coach, new GM. I just feel like they’re probably not going to want me back. We kind of had little talks going on, had a little hope going but just never really had a solid feeling that I would go back there,” Urlacher said to ESPN’s Mike and Mike.
The Bears could have used Urlacher’s recent injuries against him when deciding not to bring him back. Urlacher’s 2012 season ended after suffering a hamstring injury in week 13 against the Seahawks as the Bears failed to miss the playoffs following a 7-1 start to their season. The final 4 games Urlacher missed at the end of the 2012 season were his first in 3 seasons. In the final game of the 2011 season, Urlacher tore his PCL, an injury that required several procedures and forced him to miss the majority of training camp.
The injuries have piled up for Urlacher in recent years. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
He does plan to continue playing, and any team that decides to pick Urlacher up will greatly benefit from his leadership. He has hinted he would like to play for a contender.
“I think we’d all like to do that at this point in our careers if we haven’t won the big one yet. But not saying it has to be someone like that either, because you never know who’s going to be good every year, unless it’s the Patriots. You don’t know who’s going to be good,” Urlacher said.
The Patriots snatching Urlacher would be another bold Bill Belichick move, and would give the Pats a proven leader on defense.
The Bears own the 20th pick in this year’s NFL draft and speculation has already begun about the Bears possibly selecting disgruntled Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o with that pick.
Urlacher undoubtedly gave everything he had to the city of Chicago and the Bears organization. It’s a shame their relationship had to end for him on a bad note.