I remember when I ran into Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs last year at a local restaurant. When discussing Briggs’ contract concerns at the time, Briggs replied,
“it’s just business man”
Now everyone has his or her opinion on Brian Urlacher returning for 2013 (and hopefully a continuation into 2014). But to suggest that the team will fall apart or the other players in the locker room aren’t going to compete is ridiculous. Urlacher wants to return to the Bears and from what the Bears are saying, they’re not totally opposed to the idea. But there’s a but my friends…
What happens behind closed doors if new head coach Marc Trestman and his staff feel that there’s a better alternative at middle linebacker? Is it possible that Urlacher isn’t the best choice for the Bears? Does that mean to satisfy the fans and Urlacher’s ego the Bears should bring him back next season? Is #54 more important than the Bears winning?
The Chicago Cubs did a similar thing with Ryne Sandberg. He was well past his prime and the Cubs brought him back to appease the fans. The Bears need to win a Super Bowl. That is why they fired Lovie Smith and have brought in a new coaching staff. If Urlacher is a part of that puzzle; great. But if his better days are behind him and he cannot help the team, then the Bears have to cut ties.
It isn’t fair to Urlacher, his teammates or the fans to have a player that isn’t able to help the team compete. You’ll never meet a bigger Urlacher fan than me, but I want the Bears to be the best team in the NFL. And that that may not be with their long-time and future Hall of Fame middle linebacker.