It’s hard to believe, but as times goes by, it seems that Brian Urlacher might actually not play for the Chicago Bears in the 2013 NFL Season after spending his entire career with the team.
Urlacher, who has been with the Bears since 2000, is turning 35 this spring, and still wants to play for the Bears, a team he reached the Super Bowl with after the 2006 season, losing to the Indianapolis Colts. An 8 time Pro-Bowl selection, five-time All-Pro. There’s no doubt Urlacher has been a vital part of the organization and defense for over a decade, but the NFL is such a successful business because it doesn’t run on sentiment. When you look at the money vs production figures, maybe Urlacher, despite his leadership and presence in the locker room effect, might be a bad bargain.
I spoke with Urlacher on the phone, probably a 30-40 minute discussion. He was great, and we just talked generally about the team, not specifically about his situation. I asked him about the team and our locker room and tried to gather as much information as I could to try to do a better job as we move through the spring.
New head coach Marc Trestman doesn’t have only Urlacher to worry about – there is the quarterback situation with Jay Cutler who some seem to think is on the trading block, and obviously Devin Hester who is also looking for a change. But dealing with Urlacher, who missed four games last season and hasn’t recorded a sack over the last two, seems to be the first thing on his mind.
I don’t think there’s any question that he loves Chicago. I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not as attuned to the entire situation, certainly the economics and all the things that go into it. That’s going to be a process between Brian and the organization as we move forward.
It was never a question of Urlacher loving Chicago and the other way round. It was always a question of how much the Bears still care about a fading, aging linebacker, who probably isn’t worth the kind of money he still wants to get.