Brian Urlacher is the face of the Chicago Bears, but after entering free agency for the first time in his career on Tuesday, he could be playing for a bitter division rival next season.
According to the Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune, the Minnesota Vikings have begun courting Urlacher to replace Jasper Brinkley in the middle of their defense. The only scenario that I can imagine that would be worse than this would be seeing Urlacher in green and yellow as a member of the hated Green Bay Packers.
The Bears have yet to respond with a counter-offer to the two-year deal his representatives gave prior to the start of free agency and Mulligan is reporting that Urlacher is looking for around $5.5 million per season. I don’t think Urlacher will be back in Chicago for anything more than $3 million and even a second year to the contract may be far-fetched after battling injuries the last two seasons.
The NFL is a cold business and it is rare to see players play their entire careers with one organization as Ray Lewis did. It will be sad to potentially see Urlacher play in another uniform next season, but such is life in the NFL.
It is not believed that the Vikings made Urlacher a contract offer at this time and it is assumed these talks were more of a feeling out process to gauge his interest and what he is expecting financially. I hope to see him back in the navy and orange and captain this Bears defense in 2013. I also expect that he and the Bears will come to an agreement.
However, the possibility exists that he has played his last down as a member of the team that drafted him in the first round in 2000, but if he does leave, I just hope it won’t be to the Vikings.