After handling their head coach situation, it seems the first question everyone involved with the Chicago Bears are trying to address is what to do with Brian Urlacher, who slipped in his form last season due to injury, and might be a bit too expensive for what the team think they’ll get out of him.
Playing in only 12 games last season, Urlacher recorded 0 sacks and 68 tackles. However, unlike last season, he’s heading into free agency healthy and keeps posting pictures of himself working out in Arizona, which is his offseason home, while waiting for the Bears to decide on his future.
34, Urlacher has been with the Bears since 2000, named to the Pro Bowl 8 times and to the All-Pro team five times. Despite not being as productive in the past, he’s still regarded as the leader of a mostly successful defensive unit, and him not staying on the team could have repercussions or at least some interesting comments from Bears players.
There have been negotiations for quite some time between the player’s representatives and the franchise, including some talk between Urlacher and Trestman. His agent submitted an undisclosed contract offer to the Bears, with an unknown sum in it, but it’s most likely a lot less than the $7.5 million he made in 2012, which caused a $9.7 million cap-hit for the Bears.
According to league rumors, the Bears are very interested, or at least the coaching staff is, in having Urlacher back. The problem seems to be the money, despite his willingness to take a pay cut (how substantial we don’t know…), but the Bears also have to re-sign strong side lineback Nick Roach, who might be getting an expanded role next season. Who knows, maybe at the expense of re-signing Urlacher, who led the team to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season.