He thought he was doing the Bears justice by asking to take an over-50 percent pay cut when he told the team he wanted just $3.5 million to play in 2013-2014. General manager Phil Emery gave no second thought when he threw the opportunity for a negotiation out the door, and showed the future Hall of Famer out as well.
At the moment, there have been two front-runners in the Urlacher sweepstakes — if you can call it that at this point. The Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos have both been in serious talks with the linebacker, and it appears Urlacher is close to making a decision.
The most appealing aspect of finding a new team if you’re Urlacher should be the desire to win a Super Bowl — that would be stating the obvious in respect to most free agent veterans. However, for Urlacher, the desire for revenge seems to be too strong to resist. Earlier this morning, it was reported via NFL.com that Urlacher is “leaning towards” Minnesota.
The Vikings definitely have a void at the middle linebacker position, and while Urlacher is on the decline, he would provide an upgrade in a couple of different ways. The biggest thing he brings to the table is without a doubt his experience and leadership abilities on the field. Since the Vikings lost one of their more experienced, tenured defensive veterans in Antoine Winfield, Urlacher would fill that type of void left by the cornerback.
However, the question is why wouldn’t Urlacher want to join Peyton Manning, Wes Welker and the Broncos, who head into next year as one of the top Super Bowl favorites?
If I’m Urlacher and the Broncos give me a call about potentially signing with the team, I’m there in a heart beat. Denver has had two excellent off seasons in a row while revamping their team in a way that is sure to get them deep into the playoffs for years to come.
The bitter linebacker looks to be disregarding the opportunity to win a championship in a career that is dwindling quickly. If Urlacher ultimately decides to head to Minnesota, it won’t be the worst case scenario. He will be joining a legend in the making, Adrian Peterson, and a team that feels they are on the rise.
But, in the end, you have to believe some part of him would be kicking himself when he watches Manning and the Broncos go further into the postseason than Minnesota.