Brian Urlacher May Test Free Agency in 2013

By Chris Wickersham

Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher would love to end his career in Chicago, but again, he knows it’s all business. Urlacher does know there is a chance in which he is not a Bears in 2013. Even though Urlacher wants to remain in Chicago, he’s somewhat excited to have the chance to be on the open market. Urlacher has never become a free agent in his 13 years (his 13th season will be this upcoming season) playing in the NFL.

“I think (team president) Ted Phillips said when they had the owners meeting they’re gonna wait until the season is over; see what happens, how I play (before addressing the contract situation),” Urlacher said Friday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “It’s kind of exciting.  I’ve never been a free agent. So if I can get to free agency we’ll see what happens. I no doubt want to finish my career here. There’s no doubt about that. But you bring in free agency and all that you just never know what’s gonna happen.”

Brian Urlacher just turned 34 on Friday and is entering the final year of a 5-year extension he signed in 2008. Urlacher will make 7.5 million in the upcoming season.

“The Bears know I want to be here. I’ve told them that. I’ve said it publicly, and that’s not gonna change,” he said. “Whatever happens during the season or after the season, we’ll address it then. But they know I want to be here, and I think they want me here.”

Urlacher brings up a perfect example when talking about bringing back your own players… he names center Olin Kreutz. Kruetz wanted to remain in Chicago and would have took a paycut, but the Bears offers were disrespectful in terms. Kruetz ended up signing a deal with the New Orlean Saints.

“I understand the business side of where they’re coming from. We have a lot of young good players here that need to get paid as well. So I understand how that goes,” Urlacher said. “But like I said, at the same time I’ve never been a free agent. So you also bring that into play. (Longtime franchise fixture) Olin (Kreutz) got to free agency and it was a different offseason because we couldn’t be in the facility. We couldn’t talk. So it’s a little different now than his situation. But we’ll just see what happens.”

Like we all know, Urlacher injured his knee in his last game of the 2011-2012 season. Urlacher has participated a little in OTA workouts, but said he expects to be fully healthy for training camp in July.

I want Urlacher to finish his career in Chicago and don’t see any scenario in which he does not. However, we have been surprised before and anything can happen. The Bears and Urlacher have to worry about this season first and then look forward.

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