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Bears chairman leaving Brian Urlacher call to his GM

Brian Urlacher Pic Getty Images

If Brian Urlacher returns to the Bears, it won’t be because of the emotional appeal.

Bears chairman George McCaskey told Kevin Seifert of ESPN that as much as the fan in him wanted the middle linebacker to remain, the businessman in him would not handcuff his football people by dictating such a decision.

As a fan, of course you want him back,” McCaskey said. “He’s been the face of the franchise. He’s been an outstanding player, a Hall of Fame career. But I’ve tried to assure Bears fans since I became chairman that I don’t involve myself in player personnel decisions unless there is a question of character. Of course, there is no question about Brian’s character.

“So you have to leave that to the pros, the guys that make the evaluations, and hope for the best.”

That’s not the best news for the 34-year-old linebacker. While McCaskey’s seen Urlacher’s entire career as a Bear, general manager Phil Emery has come in on the tail end of it, when Urlacher looks more like a guy who used to be great but is beginning to slow.

And while that player is one it would be easy to overpay based on emotion, McCaskey taking himself out of the process means it’s more likely that Emery can stick to his guns, and hold firm to a value on Urlacher that’s probably much less than what Urlacher’s looking for.

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12 Responses to “Bears chairman leaving Brian Urlacher call to his GM”
  1. azdesertdweller says: Mar 18, 2013 8:14 AM

    He isn’t worth what he expects. But if he does pull a Berrian and bolts to the Vikings, then I hope he fleeces them the same way.

    It maybe time to hang up the cleats, #54.

  2. louiespoon says: Mar 18, 2013 8:33 AM

    Three years, $12M, $6M signing bonus and veterans minimum in the first year….

  3. mazblast says: Mar 18, 2013 8:58 AM

    Smart play, right play, and an infrequently seen play by the boss. Most owners feel the urge to “get involved just this once”, when it involves “the face of the franchise”, blah blah blah.

    The question in my mind is whether McCaskey made this announcement strictly on his own, or in response to the media, or in response to someone from Urlacher’s camp.

  4. vk4life says: Mar 18, 2013 9:25 AM

    We would love to have you here in Minnesota, you still have a lot to offer for a couple more years.

  5. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Mar 18, 2013 9:37 AM

    I would hate to see Urlacher go out this way but would understand if Emery wants to move on.

    My question is to who? What FA LB is left out there that can match what he can bring physically (as limited as it is) and more important with leadership? Answering the question in the draft isn’t going to help for this year.

    For the record, if the Bears draft Manti T’eo in any round and say he’s Urlacher’s replacement I’m going to find a tall (fake) building to jump off of.

  6. purpleguy says: Mar 18, 2013 10:36 AM

    He should sign a low contract for this year and then fade off quitly and respectfully with the same team he was drafted.

  7. ronniemexico says: Mar 18, 2013 10:41 AM

    Admittedly I am a former McCaskey family basher. But now, you have to love what George McCaskey has done for the Bears. I wouldn’t put him quite at Rocky Wirtz’s level with the Blackhawks dramatic turn around, but it is awfully nice to finally see an owner act like an owner; hire competent people; and let personnel and football decisions be handled by people who understand the game. Well done, George.

  8. Chris Fiorentino says: Mar 18, 2013 11:27 AM

    The Cowboys have to learn from their mistake in letting Ray Lewis go back to the Ravens and sign Urlacher tomorrow. Make the room, Jerry. Do something this offseason. You kept the idiot coaching the team. You can’t just go into the 2013 season with the same group of scrubs.

  9. wnstonchill says: Mar 18, 2013 11:29 AM

    This is where the masses start reading into things that aren’t what they think. George McCaskey is handling this situation with professionalism that we’re not used to seeing from a McCaskey. He’s showing tremendous LEADERSHIP right here. Humility to admit that he doesn’t have the expertise to handle the player personnel decisions. They hired a competent GM such as Phil Emery to handle that part. This is telling me that the Chicago Bears are at least turning a new page in their business dealings that has the arrow pointing up for the future. Great job George McCaskey!

  10. damadgreek says: Mar 18, 2013 1:36 PM

    I think this situation stinks. Urlacher may not be the player he was, but I felt he played pretty darn good last year. You could see he wasnt the same as far as speed is concerned. But to me it seemed that he focused on what he was able to do and that was become more of a presence in the box.

    A lot of media members in Chicago are taking this as a chance to “get even” with Urlacher. Brian is not friendly with local reporters and now that there is an opportunity, they are all using it to bash on him as a player.

    The fact is, unless you can sign a Karlos Dansby, there are NO FA that can play as well as Urlacher can now. This doesn’t even count the fact that Urlacher’s teamates are willing to run through a wall for him. I hope the new management doesnt make a mistake here. Brian is a Bear. I feel bad that he never got an offense that could help the team get a Ring. The one year the Bears offense made it into the middle of the pack statistically, the bears went to the superbowl. If Tommy Harris is healthy that year who knows if that would have been enough. Now that things are finally turning the corner (hopefully) offensively, having our Hall of Fame middle linebacker calling the plays on that defense is not too much to ask.

    Thanks Brian for everything….I’m with ya–screw the local media hehe

  11. ramqb74 says: Mar 18, 2013 1:54 PM

    I feel the best for everyone would be for Brian to come back at a reduced rate and draft a linebacker . Let Brian mentor the new linebacker by integrating him during the games to allow Brian to finish his career in Chicago and teach the drafted LB the position. This would also help in the transition of the new coaching staff.

  12. doe22us says: Mar 18, 2013 2:32 PM

    Yeah, he was as slow as molasses last yr, i guess if a team needs him for his instinctive smarts on the field then he is your guy.

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