It’s been a rough free agency period for Brian Urlacher, released by the Chicago Bears and not finding a lot of interest in an again middle linebacker. Now that the Baltimore Ravens have found out that Rolando McClain has decided to retire at the age of 23, their lack of depth at the position might lead them to at least consider signing the former defensive player of the year.
The only whiff of interest regarding Urlacher so far in this off-season has been a murky link with the Minnesota Vikings, who have a knack of picking up veterans from inside the division. But they don’t seem to be in a hurry, like everybody else, to sign a 34 year old player who had his injury problems last season. Even team without a solid player projected to start for them at the position and the cap-space to spend on Urlacher (who was last asking for $2.5 million a season, one-year deal) aren’t really in the mood to take a calculated risk on him.
The Ravens aren’t completely depleted at middle linebacker, but McClain deciding to retire and face his inner demons away from the NFL does leave them a little bare. Arthur Brown, a second round pick out of Kansas State now looks like the player who’ll be their starter, unless certain changes are made pretty soon. The Ravens did hang on to McClain despite his off-the-field issues because they weren’t too deep at MLB, and are now mostly relying on a rookie to fill the role.
Brian Urlacher isn’t going to get the money he wants. Just like Charles Woodson and other aging veterans who are looking for a team this late in the off-season, unless he drops his money demands considerably he is not going to get too many looks and offers coming his way; probably none at all. Things change by June, when the next round of cuts comes along, or even slightly sooner.
The Ravens could make good use of Urlacher, despite him not being a 3-4 defense kind of guy, but first they need to consider signing him, which probably isn’t happening yet. Basing their hopes on Arthur Brown and him alone doesn’t seem like a very good idea, and Urlacher should be, at least a little bit, on their minds.