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Brian Urlacher’s future in Chicago unclear

Brian Urlacher AP

Since arriving as a first-round draft pick in 2000, Brian Urlacher has been one of the Bears’ best and most popular players. But he may not have a future in Chicago.

New Bears coach Marc Trestman was asked twice on Thursday about Urlacher’s future, and he twice declined to commit to anything.

Objectively, I’ve watched the man play for a lot of years,” Trestman said, via the Chicago Tribune. “He exemplifies what being a Chicago Bear is all about. We all know that. When I step out of this room, we’ll begin to study and I’ll talk to [G.M. Phil Emery] about where personnel fits and how it works.”

That might seem like the generic answer a new coach would give about any player, but Trestman was perfectly happy to talk about his plans for coaching other players, including quarterback Jay Cutler, whom Trestman said he was eager to get his hands on.

When asked if he wants Urlacher to be a Bear in 2013, Trestman again declined to commit.

“I recognize certainly what he has meant to this locker room and to the fan base,” Trestman said. “When we get done here, we’ll try to answer some of those questions.”

Urlacher, who will become a free agent in March and turn 35 in May, missed the last four games of the season and said in December that he’ll be sad but not crushed if it turns out that he’s done with the Bears. At that time, however, Urlacher said he believed he’d be back.

Trestman doesn’t sound so sure about that.

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50 Responses to “Brian Urlacher’s future in Chicago unclear”
  1. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 18, 2013 11:06 AM

    Deuces. He was old and slow all the time he played this season.

  2. jjb0811 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:07 AM

    time to rebuild an aging D.

  3. whatnojets says: Jan 18, 2013 11:07 AM

    Seems like “house-cleaning” has already started in bear land

  4. nextgenjournalist says: Jan 18, 2013 11:09 AM

    Dude, Urlacher is a free agent.
    Cutler is under contract for another year.
    Nothing here.

    Michael David Smith: Of course Urlacher’s impending free agency is a part of the story. If you think Brian Urlacher leaving Chicago is “nothing,” I’m not sure why you’re here.

  5. daflabear says: Jan 18, 2013 11:10 AM

    Time for Brian to pick up a microphone.
    He was one of our greatest Bears, now it is time to call it a day.

  6. bucrightoff says: Jan 18, 2013 11:10 AM

    I’d say he’s done in Chicago. New England in his future?

  7. pftisterrible says: Jan 18, 2013 11:11 AM

    Manti Te’o?

  8. countduku says: Jan 18, 2013 11:12 AM

    He would have gone anywhere Lovie Smith went, but as of now i predict he ends up in Dallas.

  9. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Jan 18, 2013 11:13 AM

    If he still wants to play maybe go to a proven winner to chase a ring. I wouldn’t blame him.

    Mr. Urlacher, there’s a Bill Belichick on line one.

    Otherwise thanks Brian! You’ll be in the HOF someday soon.

  10. tonyugoh says: Jan 18, 2013 11:16 AM

    He could still play the role Keith Brooking played in Denver this season, no?

  11. smoochytherhino says: Jan 18, 2013 11:21 AM

    I really hope he comes back but it is definitely looking iffy. It’s hard to judge what he has left it isn’t uncommon at all for players coming off of injuries to take a while to regain their form. He may not be the Urlacher of five years ago, but neither is Ray Lewis and everybody still loves Ray Lewis.

    I’ll take him on my team until he can’t move anymore. If he needs to play OLB then so be it but this guy is a HOFer and a legendary Bear – let him retire as one.

  12. richardmb52 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:21 AM

    I’m a bear fan and i was never impressed, couldn’t shead a block. Can’t see him making the HOF either. Just my opinoin

  13. umainebearman says: Jan 18, 2013 11:21 AM

    New England doesn’t need an aging lb thats been getting injued every year the last few years. If anyone should retire a Bear its him.

  14. phreakin says: Jan 18, 2013 11:22 AM

    Jesus Bears fans, talk about what have you done for me lately. The guy has been The Bears since 2000 so how about treating him comparatively? No, instead you’re pushing dirt on his grave while looking for the new hotness. Here’s a tip, you won’t find it. There won’t be another Urlacher in Chicago for a LONG TIME. So you might wanna have a better solution in place BEFORE you push him out rather than after.

  15. bmue42 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:22 AM

    Green & Gold would fit him well, he may be over the hill but he’s still better than hawk

  16. themagicman1223 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:24 AM

    Manti Te’o?
    ——————————————–
    Now that wouldn’t be much of an upgrade would it?

  17. tylerchristopher says: Jan 18, 2013 11:26 AM

    An aging and slow Urlacher is still an above average MLB. He’s also the leader of a top 5 defense. Bringing him back in no way hurts the team.

  18. readyhang says: Jan 18, 2013 11:28 AM

    I think there is still room/need for Brian on this team. The question is at what price. I’m not sure both sides will see it the same way, which could lead to his departure. #54 HOF!

  19. mazblast says: Jan 18, 2013 11:29 AM

    pftisterrible says:

    Manti Te’o?
    ———————————
    They don’t play imaginary defense in the NFL.

    Well, a few teams do, but I’m talking about teams that win.

  20. vicnocal says: Jan 18, 2013 11:35 AM

    Another thing we can thank that IDIOT Lovie Smith for: Urlacher messing up his knee.

    It was Week 17 last season, a meaningless game, but not so meaningless to Lovie, since it would mean the difference between finishing 7-9 and 8-8, which would up the chances of him not getting fired. Urlacher got hurt defending a freaking Hail Mary pass against the Vikings, now his knee and career (what was left of it) are pretty much shot.

    By the way, OF COURSE Trestman is sure Cutler will be there: He’s only like 29 still and one of the Bears’ best players. Urlacher, on the other hand, is on his last legs and is a FREE AGENT. That Trestman was vague about Urlacher’s status in comparison to Cutler’s doesn’t really mean a whole lot.

  21. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 18, 2013 11:35 AM

    tylerchristopher says:
    Jan 18, 2013 11:26 AM
    An aging and slow Urlacher is still an above average MLB. He’s also the leader of a top 5 defense. Bringing him back in no way hurts the team.
    _____________________________

    Not really. He’s not above average. He’s in all reality playing average. If you ever watch a game. You saw guys like Lynch and A. Foster avoid running to the outside and run straight up the middle, towards Urlacher and get big gains. I’ve seen Urlacher get out of position more times than he’s made tackles.

    If he wants to lead, he can be a linebackers coach. But, we need an upgrade at the position. I’ve seen him get blocked too many times and be a liability in coverage.

    You’re letting his reputation cloud your judgement.

  22. jphavig says: Jan 18, 2013 11:40 AM

    Come to Oakland (at the right price).

  23. leovsmith says: Jan 18, 2013 11:53 AM

    As a Packers Fan/Owner it has been good to see Brian’s playing days decrease due to injury and age. I would just as soon da bears keep him.

  24. randolph32 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:53 AM

    You don’t think Phil is making the call on Urlacher? With help from whomever is hired for DC?

  25. jgava19 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:54 AM

    Reading articles that Colts may be very much interested in him.

  26. bfatconservative says: Jan 18, 2013 11:55 AM

    The Dude needs to retire and make the same amount of money doing commercials in the Chicago area.

  27. canesfan56 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:56 AM

    I have always been a fan of Brian’s. Unfortunately nobody can outrun father time.

  28. gregalynch says: Jan 18, 2013 11:56 AM

    This seems like jumping to conclusions a little. There’s a key difference between Urlacher and Cutler that would explain why he’s willing to talk about coaching the one and not the other — Cutler is under contract for next season and Urlacher isn’t.

  29. mjzaky says: Jan 18, 2013 11:59 AM

    I wonder how Urlacher would do running Perry Fewell’s defense in East Rutherford? Chase Blackburn is not a starter in this league, and Herzlich was not ready as of the end of this season. Who better to teach him and transition the Giants into the Herzlich era than Urlacher?

  30. FinFan68 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:59 AM

    I think it’s pretty clear he believes that Urlacher will NOT be a Bear next season. He said “has meant” rather than means. Sad to see but it seems Brian Urlacher will be playing football for another team or retiring this year.

  31. jutts says: Jan 18, 2013 12:04 PM

    It’s all about the money. Urlacher has clearly lost a step or two, but still a great leader. The guy wants to be paid like he was 25 not 35.

  32. jqsmooth says: Jan 18, 2013 12:05 PM

    Green & Gold would fit him well, he may be over the hill but he’s still better than hawk

    ——————————————–
    The 49ers are Gold, the Fighting Irish is Gold. The Packers are NOT gold. It is hi-yellow, for as “smart” as Packers fans think they are, they still can’t get one simple thing right.

  33. flapjackdaddy says: Jan 18, 2013 12:08 PM

    Retire if you’re let go. What do you have left to prove?

  34. stellarperformance says: Jan 18, 2013 12:32 PM

    jqsmooth says:
    Jan 18, 2013 12:05 PM
    The 49ers are Gold, the Fighting Irish is Gold. The Packers are NOT gold. It is hi-yellow, for as “smart” as Packers fans think they are, they still can’t get one simple thing right.
    ================================

    For the record and by all standardizations, the official Packer colors are 5535C Green and 1235C Gold.

    I would describe the San Francisco version of gold more of a “metallic beige,” kind of like my grandmothers 1968 Buick.

  35. damadgreek says: Jan 18, 2013 12:35 PM

    First off, Cutler has a year on his contract. Urlacher is a free agent. “IF” Emery wanted to go in a different direction it wouldn’t be prudent for the new coach to say he can’t wait to get his hands on the hall of fame linebacker (despite risking injury for saying such a thing)

    Although Urlacher wasn’t up to his own standards this year, he was still better than a large majority of linebackers in the NFL. As far as I’m concerned—He is a Bear as long as he wants, he has earned it.

    I only wished the bears would have given him a championship like he deserved. A waste of a career. Thanks Dick and Lovie—nice offenses you gave him.

  36. toooverbearing says: Jan 18, 2013 12:39 PM

    I guess you have to factor in what the 2013 defensive scheme is going to be, what kind of money would be required to resign him, and what the opportunity cost would be in free agency… but all things being equal I’d bring him back.

    First, he’s still a defensive quarterback out there. He does make plays, even with diminished skills. He’s still a good quarterback.

    Second, it would help the coaching transition to have your captains in place this year. It could keep the locker room together. Losing Marinelli already puts the defensive cohesiveness at stake, so resigning Urlacher, even for a year, could be a boon.

    If all things aren’t equal and the Bears promote Hoke as DC and keep the cover-2, then I think it becomes that much more important to keep him since he’s so good in covering the deep middle. Or, if we get a 3-4 DC where we have to retool personnel completely, he may be more expendable.

  37. pgh15212 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:45 PM

    The Steelers should sign him in an attempt to get younger.

  38. themidwaymonsters says: Jan 18, 2013 12:46 PM

    Urlacher’s departure or retirement will hinge on 2 things:
    1. Type of Defense instilled next year.
    2. If he is allowed to be retained.

    I feel that he’ll stay IF given the option. And with an offense that should bring more points than last year, this team could authentically be a playoff contender, which might give him JUST enough hope to stay at least one more year.

  39. filthymcnasty1 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:01 PM

    I wonder is Cutler has any trade value?

  40. moeman79 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:14 PM

    Urlacher’s value is his knowledge of the cover 2 system, on the field shift on the D, pass coverage and tackles, he has never been used in the 3-4 ray lewis role. he can lose a step or two and still be usefull. he has been the face of the Bears so long it is hard to think about our D without him.

  41. JSpicoli says: Jan 18, 2013 1:19 PM

    OAKlacher

  42. shlort says: Jan 18, 2013 1:20 PM

    Urlacher played at half speed all season and still looked good. He is an animal on the field.

    Is he about done for his career? Yeah, he is past his prime and in decline. What he offers that is priceless is his leadership. The D rallies around him. I would keep him there if I were the Bears.

    He will come cheap, as I doubt there will be much interest in him in FA. He could be a guy they put in for certain packages. They could get a couple more years of good production out of him if he shared duties. Imagine what he could do for a young guy, grooming that player to take the reigns.

    It’d be a huge mistake to let him walk away from the team for a peanut contact somewhere else. That is my 2 cents as an Urlacher fan.

  43. cosmicduster says: Jan 18, 2013 1:40 PM

    Brian will be a Bear if he chooses the contract offered vs. the money grab. I don’t blame him if he walks, but he can’t expect the Bears to overpay for him. That won’t change or tarnish his legacy as a Bear one bit. The face of the franchise for the better part of a decade and one of the Mount Rushmore of Bears linebackers.

  44. chitownjeff says: Jan 18, 2013 1:52 PM

    Love Urlacher.. mad respect for the man.. but when he returned the interception for a touchdown against the Titans he looked like an old slowed wounded Bear..

    Pep is 33.. Briggs.. 33 this year.. can’t be sentimental.. we did that with the 85 crew and paid the price for it.. Phil E and Marc T have to be able to make the moves they see fit..

  45. spartan822 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:18 PM

    The rest of the NFC North is hoping he stays with the Bears.

  46. filthymcnasty1 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:26 PM

    Urlacher deserves a shot at a championship, and that’s not going to happen in Chicago while they’re rebuilding.

  47. queensnyvegas says: Jan 18, 2013 2:28 PM

    when the nike uniforms came out he did say he liked the giants blue go giants 2013 nfc east champs book it

  48. vegagreenleaf says: Jan 18, 2013 3:28 PM

    Most overrated defensive player in the NFL, 13 years running.

  49. larryboodry says: Jan 18, 2013 4:10 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:26 PM

    “Urlacher deserves a shot at a championship, and that’s not going to happen in Chicago while they’re rebuilding.”

    For once we agree.

  50. lilmiddle78 says: Jan 19, 2013 2:30 AM

    Past six years or so the use of cover two in Chicago has been steady to say the least!! Opposing QBs often stay away from the middle which is supposed to be the weakness of the cover two, is it not?????? So please tell me why if Urlacher is sooooooo average then why is it that NFL Quarterbacks are going away from the weakness of the defense to avoid such an old, slow & below average player?!?!?!

    Guys don’t get to keep their job in the NFL just because of their name or because of what they did a few years ago!!! Ask Mr. Derek Brooks!!

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