Brian Urlacher has played his last down as a member of the Chicago Bears after the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on a new contract, ending the middle linebacker’s career with the Bears after 13 seasons.
Bears announced they were unable to sign LB Brian Urlacher and are moving in another direction.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2013
Bears general manager Phil Emery made the smart football decision and wasn’t influenced by the sentimentality of bringing back Urlacher, who has been plagued with knee injuries since injuring his knee in the season finale in 2011.
While many fans will be disheartened to hear the news that the future hall of fame linebacker will no longer be suiting up in the middle of the defense, this is the right move from a pure football perspective.
Urlacher simply isn’t the player that Bears fans grew accustomed to seeing after he was taken in the first round out of New Mexico. He was unreliable and the team had to get younger and add young talent at the position that can be counted on for the foreseeable future.
The locker room will be much different next year without the eight-time Pro Bowler, and I don’t expect many players to come out and express their support of the decision, but it stings to lose a captain, teammate and friend. However, this league is not known for loyalty or sentimentality and today’s announcement is further proof of that.
Look for the Bears to target a linebacker early in the draft as they look to find the next Urlacher, and if he turns out to be half the player that No. 54 is, then it will be a rousing success.
What the future holds for Urlacher is unknown at the moment and he hasn’t received much interest on the free agent market. If he never plays another game, then his next stop will be Canton, Ohio when he is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.