The Chicago Bears need to quit playing games and decide what direction they want to take when it comes to the middle linebacker position. Since the year 2000 the Bears have had one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL roaming the field in Brian Urlacher. Between injuries and age, Urlacher is nowhere near the player he was during his prime in the mid-2000s. I do not think Brian himself thinks he can match the level of production that lead him to be the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 2005 season.
Free agency started last Tuesday afternoon and for the first time in his career Urlacher found himself on the street as an unrestricted free agent. To many Bears fans it is very surprising that the franchise would allow one of their all-time greats simply walk away like that. However, it is known that prior to the deadline the two sides had been talking, which may or may not be a good sign.
While members of the Bears front office have been publicly saying all the right things about Urlacher, rumor has it behind the scenes that the team would much rather let Urlacher simply walk away. Late last week the news was that the Minnesota Vikings had been showing interest in the aging middle linebacker, but as of this writing Urlacher still remains unsigned.
As time passes, fans are beginning to become more vocal about the situation and the media is starting to speculate more and more as to what is really going on here. This is not something that a franchise in a bit of a transition period can afford to have, because as much as they are publicly respecting Urlacher, the delay in his signing and apparent feet-dragging is very disrespectful. Urlacher is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer and a Bear great that quite frankly deserves better than this.
One simple fact is new coach Marc Trestman may not want Brian Urlacher in his locker room. A guy that was loyal to a fault to previous coach Lovie Smith, and was publicly upset about his firing may not be the best of guys to have around as a new coach trying to establish his place within the team. But then again a leader like Urlacher could be just what Trestman needs to complete this transition. Ether way the delay in action is not only disrespectful to Urlacher, but long time Bears fans.