When talks started up last week about the Minnesota Vikings being interested in Brian Urlacher, I didn’t think too much of it. I viewed Urlacher and his people talking to other teams as more of a formality in the bidding process. Urlacher wasn’t getting the offer he wanted from the Chicago Bears, so he listened to what a couple of other teams had to say.
Now, with the news of Urlacher and the Bears parting ways, No. 54 to the Vikings is a legitimate thing.
For starters, it sounds like the relationship ended badly in Chicago:
“This whole offseason, I had a bad feeling about this situation anyway. I just wish they would have said, `We don’t want you back.’ I think this whole thing is just about them saving face and trying to say that they made a run at me. That’s what I think it is,” said Urlacher.
He views the Bears’ one-year/$2 million dollar offer as a slap in the face, so this could point to him wanting revenge. In that case, there’s no better place for him to sign than Minnesota.
It just so happens the Vikings are in need of a middle linebacker. While Urlacher doesn’t really fit the bill in terms of his age, he would bring a strong veteran presence to a defense that’s already very solid.
Minnesota could bring in Urlacher as their starter, and then still go out and draft a MLB in the early rounds of April’s draft. It would be a perfect way to bring a young talent on board.
It’s unclear how serious the Vikings were when they reached out to Urlacher last week, but you’d have to think they’d offer him more than the $2 million from Chicago. I don’t know if I see Minnesota offering him a deal longer than one season, because I think a one-year deal worth around $4 million dollars would be fair. If all goes well, the two sides can always talk about re-upping for another season.
Urlacher would not be a long-term solution in Minnesota, but he would fill a need, and add to a team that’s capable of making a run in the playoffs. The questions of whether or not he has any gas left in the tank are fair, but I’m willing to bet there’s a new fire that’s been lit under the legendary linebacker after a bitter ending in Chicago.
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