- Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Now that the Minnesota Vikings have unveiled their design plans for their new stadium, interest in the organization is on the rise and evidently, free-agent linebacker Brian Urlacher is one of those people who is paying particularly close attention to happenings with the purple and gold. According to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, the former Chicago Bears star linebacker and face of the franchise is close to making a decision about his football future. Can you imagine what destination is rumored to be at the top of his list? You guessed it, the land of 10,000 lakes and home to the Vikings.
According to the report and citing a source “close to Urlacher”, Sneed stated that, “Brian is leaning toward heading to Minnesota and is talking a one- to two-year contract.”
Reportedly, the Vikings aren’t the only team that Urlacher is talking to because the free-agent has also been in discussions with the Denver Broncos as well.
The Vikings certainly could use some depth at middle linebacker in their 4-3 defensive scheme because currently, Erin Henderson is the only legitimate option in the middle and even he hasn’t played at that position for an extended period of time during his career. Many analysts had speculated that there was mutual interest between the Vikings and Urlacher, but many people around the league thought the Vikings would use one of their top picks on a middle linebacker. When the Vikings chose to take a defensive tackle, cornerback and wide receiver with their three first-round draft picks, they essentially ended all possibility of the team drafting a linebacker high in the draft.
Did the team have a plan all along to pursue Urlacher at a discounted rate once the draft was over or did they simply believe that none of the options available in the draft when they selected were better than the three players they selected? I personally believe the team saw that they could fill three big needs in the draft and that is what led them to draft Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson. I also believe that the team had an idea that Urlacher could be a solid fall-back option if the team could fill other holes on the team via the draft.
The team will likely address linebacker further in next year’s draft; but at this point, a veteran linebacker is the most likely and viable option for the Vikings. Is Urlacher ready to sign with the purple and gold? I hope so and fortunately for all parties involved, we shouldn’t have to wait much longer to find out.