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Bears announce Brian Urlacher will not be back

Brian Urlacher AP

The Brian Urlacher era is over in Chicago.

Urlacher, one of the best and most popular players the Bears have ever had, will not return to the team, it was announced on Wednesday.

“We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward,” Bears General Manager Phil Emery said in a statement. “Brian has been an elite player in our league for over a decade. He showed great leadership and helped develop a winning culture over his time with the Bears. We appreciate all he has given our team, on and off the field. Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears.”

Although Urlacher was an unsigned free agent, the news comes as a surprise: As recently as this morning, Bears coach Marc Trestman was saying he thought there was a place for Urlacher on the team.

But things change quickly in the NFL, and Urlacher’s days with the Bears have come to an end.

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115 Responses to “Bears announce Brian Urlacher will not be back”
  1. jrfrom508 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:32 PM

    Too bad we don’t need him in NE. Big fan.

  2. malachiofcourse says: Mar 20, 2013 6:34 PM

    $$$ talks

  3. valhalla2013 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:34 PM

    We could use his leadership on the Vikings squad.

  4. seahawks19081 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:36 PM

    Let the come to, insert team name here, comments begin.

  5. sonofsamadams says: Mar 20, 2013 6:36 PM

    He probably got hurt on the way to negotiations.

  6. khmer379 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:36 PM

    Vikes should realli consider giving him for a 1 year contract!

  7. bucrightoff says: Mar 20, 2013 6:37 PM

    I think he’s done. Not sure who would want him.

  8. stanmarshmorelikestandarsh says: Mar 20, 2013 6:37 PM

    The Vikings should continue their tradition of picking up washed up players from division rivals and pick him up!

  9. veence69 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:37 PM

    Woodson and Urlacher are both long in the tooth players who could go to Minnesota to mentor players like Harrison Smith and whomever the Vikings draft at MLB. Plus they’d get to play their former teams twice a year.

  10. 3fingerlenny says: Mar 20, 2013 6:37 PM

    He’s cooked anyway

  11. punkyqb says: Mar 20, 2013 6:38 PM

    A sad day to be a Bears fan !!

  12. johnnyb216 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:39 PM

    I would say come to green bay but I kind of want the packers to save their money for Adrian Peterson when he becomes a free agent so the queens can see what it feels like. I bet the reactions would be very similar even though pristine Viking fans would never admit it.

  13. 2difshoe says: Mar 20, 2013 6:39 PM

    Great player ! Has lost a step or two.
    But this week, it was reported, a Chicago High School player who was paralyzed in 2000 and died this week do to the injury, was visited by Brain shortly after his injury. Urlacher made a generous contribution to make his home handicap accessible. Hard to see Urlacher leave, HOF potential.

    Good luck Brian, thanks for the effort.

  14. mantastic54 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:39 PM

    That sucks I was hoping we could get one more year before drafting his replacement. With only 5 draft picks I wanted to see the majority of them go towards fixing the offense

  15. mfshort34 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:39 PM

    Thanks for everything #54. An All-Time Bear.

  16. wnstonchill says: Mar 20, 2013 6:39 PM

    I understand the decision, but this is a really tough pill to swallow…….. this Bears team is officially in, a full bore, rebuilding period. It’s one thing to lose Brian Urlacher the player, but his leadership is something that will take some time to replace. Wherever you end up, #54, you’ll always be a BEAR, but much more than that, you’ll always be a CHAMPION!

  17. blakeden says: Mar 20, 2013 6:40 PM

    DA BEARS

  18. edenprairieballer says: Mar 20, 2013 6:40 PM

    Did not see that coming!

  19. blackandbluedivision says: Mar 20, 2013 6:40 PM

    Stick a fork in ‘em.

  20. 808raiderinparadise says: Mar 20, 2013 6:41 PM

    Vikings …. obviously

  21. punkyqb says: Mar 20, 2013 6:41 PM

    Hester is next.

  22. mrrodgershood says: Mar 20, 2013 6:41 PM

    Wow! It will be weird watching the Packers/ Bears games and not seeing #54 on the field.

  23. bearsfan4life says: Mar 20, 2013 6:41 PM

    I don’t know if he’s first ballot, but he’s definitely a hall of famer.

  24. beerbudsnbevo says: Mar 20, 2013 6:41 PM

    Quick Jerrah, go sign him for a crazy amount of money as you always do for washed up players, hamstringing your team later…

    Sheesh…

  25. chawk12thman says: Mar 20, 2013 6:43 PM

    Might be time to quit…….Can’t think of him being anything but a Bear. Would help some teams and certainly would help in the locker room and with younger LBs, but not sure he is more than depth at this point.

    Congrats on a great career Brian. It has been fun watching you play.

  26. tecmobowl2k says: Mar 20, 2013 6:43 PM

    Jerry Jones is on the phone right now playing angry birds when he should be trying to get this guy.

  27. jrock3x8 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:43 PM

    Legitimately shocked. Did not see it ending this way.

  28. blacknole08 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:43 PM

    That’s unfortunate for both sides. Great player for awhile but father time and injuries caught up to him. Good luck to him.

  29. chief67 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:44 PM

    Well I did not see that coming .

  30. 1oldpro says: Mar 20, 2013 6:45 PM

    I like Brian Urlacher. He’s a good guy!

  31. midwaymonster72 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:45 PM

    Its a sad day for the Chicago Bears

  32. foosball11 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:45 PM

    Urlacher would be a great fit for Minnesota, hes already used to losing to GB

  33. fukpittsburgh says: Mar 20, 2013 6:45 PM

    Would look good in that Ravens black.

  34. SilentMajority says: Mar 20, 2013 6:46 PM

    That sucks…

  35. coldtundra says: Mar 20, 2013 6:46 PM

    Rumor is vikes. His leadership is probably worth more than his skills on the field, not sure how much that is worth. If he comes cheap I would love to see him on the vikes.

  36. esplife03 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:46 PM

    It really shouldn’t have ended this way.

  37. luccabrazzi says: Mar 20, 2013 6:46 PM

    Could he really be a stop gap type of player for the Vikings?

  38. joneil66 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:46 PM

    As a life long Bears fan, this is sad news. Urlacher was the consummate professional and one of the greatest Bears of all time. It will be interesting to see how far apart the two sides were and where Urlacher ultimately lands, if anywhere. Sad to see it end this way but I think I speak for all Bears in saying we are thankful we had him while we did. Emery better start looking for some LBs…

  39. sdwat54 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:46 PM

    This just sucks. I felt the same way when Kreutz left for the Saints; Sooner or later, a franchise player has to stop playing and move on. But this is just nauseating.

    No team is really who we think they are anymore, are they?

  40. bigzant82 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:47 PM

    maybe 1 legendary LB can replace and help another recently retired legendary LB dat left the Ravens by replacing him?? #54 comes and temporarly fill the shoes of #52 just a thought?
    if no Mr. Urlacher u can come to cleveland we need another LB and you can still tackle and rush the passer even though ya slow and etc

  41. donnymacjack says: Mar 20, 2013 6:47 PM

    Bummer. Class guy, hard worker, and all pro…literally.

  42. bearfan3454 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:47 PM

    Sad day for a Berafan. Thanks 54!

  43. billymccloskey says: Mar 20, 2013 6:48 PM

    Welcome to minnesota, mr urlacher. Here is Brett’s phone #. Ask him about the transition and you will see success unfolding before your eyes with that veteran beat body of yours

  44. vikes8480 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:48 PM

    Although he played for a division rival. I have a ton of respect for Urlacher. He was a great player. It’s a bummer to see him leave the team that he played for all those years.

  45. ososrule says: Mar 20, 2013 6:48 PM

    Good luck Brian! You will always be a Chicago Bear!!

    Who the hell is gonna play LB now, Roach went to Oakland, Brian is out….wth?? Briggs and 2 question marks…..

  46. atltoarizona says: Mar 20, 2013 6:48 PM

    Speechless.

  47. 808raiderinparadise says: Mar 20, 2013 6:49 PM

    Teo a Bear

  48. cameronmaloney3 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:49 PM

    Wow that just shows how much of a business the NFFL is #NationalFlagFootballLeague

  49. dsharpe8 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:49 PM

    And this move gives me enough reason to stop watching my beloved Bears… There’s no way you should lowball one of your franchise’s greatest players like. But hey that’s the culture among Chicago’s pro teams.

  50. johnmaddenslovechild says: Mar 20, 2013 6:49 PM

    You need a leader for your team or someone to get your locker room in check and here’s your guy. On the field.. That’s a different story.. We know he can still play but def. not at the level he has over the years.

  51. fcs34 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:49 PM

    Wow. Hard to believe he’s gone. Brutal reminder that the NFL is business first, a sport second. I remember this guy chasing down Mike Vick in his prime. 54 was a freakish athlete and one of the best picks the bears ever made. Now what am I gonna do with those jerseys…

  52. decimusprime says: Mar 20, 2013 6:50 PM

    Wow…

  53. bobbysouthside says: Mar 20, 2013 6:51 PM

    If he came back, it wouldn’t have ended well. This is best for the Bears and Urlacher’s legacy.

  54. biggedso says: Mar 20, 2013 6:51 PM

    You want a ring come to G.B.

  55. justintuckrule says: Mar 20, 2013 6:51 PM

    There needs to be a salary cap exemption for staples like Urlacher. The mercenary culture is bad for preserving the game’s history, growth, etc.

    There should be an exemption for all players who have played 12+ years with the same team that drafted them. Obviously, not many would qualify. However, it would be cool for teams to be able to keep the few that do.

    Urlacher is synonomous with “Bears”. The Bears value and namesake becomes diminished when one of their cultural icons finishes his career with another team.

    It would have been nice for the Colts to retain Peyton Manning. He’s a Colt.

    Simms was forced into early retirement as the first known cap casualty.

  56. skolvikings13 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:51 PM

    Sounds like a future Viking to me. See you at Winter Park shortly Mr. Urlacher.

  57. trapshoot says: Mar 20, 2013 6:51 PM

    End of a great player with a not so great team..

  58. jblandbeardown says: Mar 20, 2013 6:52 PM

    Knew it would be sooner than later, but man. Good luck Brian, you did your job as a Bear. On the field, your a player!! Good luck.

  59. whodatnhollywood says: Mar 20, 2013 6:52 PM

    I remember the day Brian Urlacher was drafted from the University of New Mexico. There was a debate if he’d play safety or linebacker. Now, that part of his Bears journey has come to an end. It’s kinda sad, but yet an eventual reality for all athletes~one day it will end. So, save your money.

    He was a pleasure to watch and was tailor-made for Chicago. Seeing him in another uniform will not be the same should he decide to hang on another year or two. Cheers to a great run in Chi-town. You did well.

  60. navyeoddavee9 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:52 PM

    Past his prime middle LB, gonna be tough landing a spot, plus no one is going to pay his asking price, he will have to come cheap

  61. darkneptune73 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:52 PM

    Good luck replacing him, Bears. He’s a one of a kind player.

  62. ocean10 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:52 PM

    Emery and Trestman are scrubbing the Lovie out of the carpet.

  63. nfl4days says: Mar 20, 2013 6:53 PM

    And there goes the only great pro football player from UNM. Or any new mexico college.

  64. packattack1967 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:54 PM

    I remember him sacking Favre once, then the very next play picking him off. Ron Wolf wanted Brian also that year. A true “Bear”

  65. scoobies05 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:54 PM

    definitely one of the worst parts of the salary cap. ravens are facing the same issue possibly with ed reed. always a shame when a beloved player has to leave. hopefully urlacher can get himself into a good situatio…baltimore maybe. good luck brian and go ravens!

  66. jimbo75025 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:55 PM

    Sad really. Urlacher has been the heart, soul, and face of the Bears for a decade. Bad move by the Bears from both a PR and team standpoint,

  67. justbhouse2 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:55 PM

    Report, Urlacher had another pulled muscle on his way out of Halas Hall.

  68. bbking0420 says: Mar 20, 2013 6:55 PM

    Living in Chicago ,and being a die hard Bear fan.I can not say I am surprised!!! Brian Urlacher WAS a great player but in the sports world you get older and production decreases. Brian when you are ready to retire your #54 at Soldier Field we will welcome you back with open arms!!! Good Luck to you in the future!!! That MLB position for uswill look a lot different in the years to come,but sometimes change is good!!!

  69. larryboodry says: Mar 20, 2013 6:55 PM

    Aw, damn…I wonder where he will end up playing this year.

    A sad day for Bears fans, but here’s wishing Brian the best as he continues his great career.

  70. vicnocal says: Mar 20, 2013 6:56 PM

    Like I’ve been saying: Urlacher will probably retire. His market value is probably $3mill a year TOPS.
    He and his agent probably want something like $5mill a year. No team in their right mind would pay that for his services. Rather than come back & play for the Bears for only (only?) $2-3 mill, he’ll retire, proud egomaniac that he is.

    Either that, or he’ll pull an Olin Kreutz and go play for another team for less money than the Bears would’ve given him.

    That’s the problem with these guys who have gotten used to making so much money throughout their career. They see a $2-3 million a year salary as some kind of indignity. The $100 million or so that Urlacher has probably made during his career becomes a limiting factor, instead of being something that allows him the financial freedom to keep playing football. Pride kills.

  71. bryans49ers says: Mar 20, 2013 6:57 PM

    The Patriots wil kick the tires on Brian. Coach Bellicheck loves these hard nosed veteran linebackers. Easy to coach, great in the locker room and the huddle, and very hungry to win a Championship towards the end of their careers. Good luck Brian

  72. ambitoos says: Mar 20, 2013 6:57 PM

    This is as shocking as Seau leaving the Chargers. Except AJ Smith had to tell him don’t let the door hit you in the ——— . Payback will come Chicago. Just like Seau and the Charger payback when Seau played for NE.

  73. buminaroundbrown says: Mar 20, 2013 6:58 PM

    Attention Mr Urlacher there is someone named Ozzie ‘Good Hands’ Newsome on the line. Want to lead a Super Bowl defense for a year ?

  74. jimmylions says: Mar 20, 2013 6:58 PM

    Martin Mayhew … the Lions need leadership on the defensive side of the team. Urlacher will improve the defense just by walking into the locker room and establishing his presence.

    Doesn’t hurt to talk to his people …

  75. radrntn says: Mar 20, 2013 6:58 PM

    he would look good in silver and black

  76. tannethrill says: Mar 20, 2013 7:00 PM

    “Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears”

    Except right now.

  77. Shinnbone says: Mar 20, 2013 7:00 PM

    Brian, what a great way to end your career come on up to Titletown get your ring this year all while kicking Da Bears ass twice to go along with it. See what it’s like to be on a team with a superstar quarterback for a change.

  78. garyreazons55 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:00 PM

    Cutler, it’s really yours now.

  79. b3astm0de says: Mar 20, 2013 7:00 PM

    :( Im 26 I grew up watching this guy. Still think he would be worth bringing back for minimum contract with incentives. Not that he is still great but who else is out there?

  80. kyleeaton78 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:01 PM

    I could see the Vikings going after Mr. Urlacher. I am not a big fan of his just because I am a Vikings fan and he played for the Bears but if we get him at the right price he is a good football player and would make a difference on our team.. Urlacher and allen out there would be great to see. We will see….If the Vikes do it I think we will know in the next 24-48 hours

  81. ihatelogicalvoicesays says: Mar 20, 2013 7:02 PM

    To the gmen!!!

  82. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 20, 2013 7:02 PM

    Statue time… Never mind, wrong team.

  83. garyreazons55 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:02 PM

    Manti Te’o in a Bears uniform in 5, 4, 3, 2…

  84. louiespoon says: Mar 20, 2013 7:03 PM

    Bad form….

  85. niubears says: Mar 20, 2013 7:10 PM

    My favorite Bear of all-time (before you go crazy, I’m only 25, not too many great ones to pick from my era), but obviously he was asking for too much money. Cap space is tight, and he’s been a huge injury risk for the last 3-4 years.

    Any good LBs in the draft? Or can we get Roach back? lol

  86. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 20, 2013 7:10 PM

    He has the right attitude & disposition to make an interesting Jet to play & mentor the young guys but we probably can’t afford him.

  87. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:12 PM

    Like we couldn’t see this coming with all the BS rhetoric spewing from Trestman’s mouth all month?

  88. mvp43 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:15 PM

    That guy has killed my Packers in so many different ways that I hated the guy. Now that he’s gone I must say that he is one of the best players I’ve ever seen play. I’ve always respected him for what he meant as a player, and he knew what it meant to be a Bear. I just wished he could’ve retired a Bear.

  89. monsterofyourgirlsmidway says: Mar 20, 2013 7:15 PM

    Wow. I thought he’d retire a bear for sure. He’s been the anchor of a pretty damn good defense for the last decade.. A true monster of the midway. Thank You #54!

  90. drbandkgb says: Mar 20, 2013 7:16 PM

    Dear Bengals…
    If you could get a year or 2 out of him and the leadership he could bring in for your young core…

  91. ponderqb says: Mar 20, 2013 7:16 PM

    The Vikings could really use some help at MLB, Urlacher would be able to step right in to the spot and be more productive than what we have there now… but I don’t think i could keep my respect for him if he moved to another NFC North team… feels different the Brett. What a great player to watch all these years though.

  92. cronneb says: Mar 20, 2013 7:18 PM

    In equal company along side Butkus and Singletary. I hope the Bears’s fans appreciate all he did for them

  93. vicnocal says: Mar 20, 2013 7:18 PM

    It is now the Lance Briggs Show. Briggs has been the most dependable and consistent Bears player for the last decade anyway. Yes, even more than Urlacher, because Briggs has hardly ever missed any time due to injury.

    I think with the core of Briggs, Peppers, Tillman, this defense can still excel. Briggs has always been more vocal than Urlacher as well, so maybe that translates well as far as him being the new captain.

  94. rayguyreturns says: Mar 20, 2013 7:19 PM

    Not to worry. He’ll catch on with another team for a year or two, piss off a few Chicago people in the meantime , then retire as a Bear in Canton. Real Bear’s fans will be there to cheer him on.
    Great player.

  95. thraiderskin says: Mar 20, 2013 7:19 PM

    What would make him “not” a HoF’er?

  96. thepeoplesjunk says: Mar 20, 2013 7:19 PM

    I am unsure how I feel about the rumors of him coming to MN…. I know he WAS great and may have a little left, but we are trying to get young and build through the draft. I am not sure that a 1 year stop-gap will help the team. Maybe he can tutor a draft pick for a season and then hand over the reins.

  97. redrocker77 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:26 PM

    Signs w/ Jags. Babich is the DC. And no state tax for last contract. We could use some more depth.

  98. paulz624 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:35 PM

    To quote Rob Ryan, He’ll have a job in 5 minutes !

  99. vikingfan1971 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:37 PM

    johnnyb
    adrian will not be a free agent when his contract is up he will stay a viking,

  100. bws2390 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:37 PM

    Nooooooooooooo!

  101. patch24680 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:39 PM

    WOW! Did NOT see that one coming! I’m not a big Bears fan, but you have to admire #54 for all of his great contributions to the Bears! What a beast! Whether you decide to retire or continue on with another team, I wish you luck!

  102. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:39 PM

    My fondest memory of Urlacher was when Jerome Bettis ran him over near the goal line late in the 2005 season during the Steelers’ playoff push.
    Many running backs (Curtis Martin comes to mind) never have a signature run. That was Bettis’ signature run. Both Urlacher and Bettis were great players. Both deserve to be Hall-of-Famers.

  103. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 20, 2013 7:41 PM

    Go to Dallas, they’re playing that archaic Cover 2.

  104. Deb says: Mar 20, 2013 7:42 PM

    Sad day for Bears fans and sad day for Urlacher. Not sure why they couldn’t work it out, but his career days are numbered and he’ll never have another NFL home like Chicago. Most players his age find leaving over a contractual dispute like this is rarely worth it.

  105. bobonmycob says: Mar 20, 2013 7:45 PM

    chawk12thman says:Mar 20, 2013 6:43 PM

    Might be time to quit…….Can’t think of him being anything but a Bear.

    Yeah einstein because you are a bears fan. He spent his career with the Bears but guess what? Money talks.. And if he gets enough of it he WILL be in a different uniform next year… Why do you fans think these players need to be loyal to the team? They need to do whats best for them. Urlacher could give a damn less about chicago and its fans… But again.. For Chicago fans that is a hard pill to swallow.

  106. bighyzer says: Mar 20, 2013 7:46 PM

    As a Viking fan, please DO NOT sign this guy. Great career but now he’s old and slow.

  107. asublimeday says: Mar 20, 2013 7:46 PM

    Sometimes I really hate the Bears.

  108. johnnyb216 says: Mar 20, 2013 8:16 PM

    Vikingfan,
    Yeah, just like Percy was never a free agent right?

  109. Deb says: Mar 20, 2013 8:19 PM

    But wait … now we learn poor Urlacher had no choice because the Bears shafted him! Yes, sad day for him and the fans, but he wouldn’t have left if given a fair deal. Hope he beats the odds and finds a great home in another NFL city!

  110. jazsrt says: Mar 20, 2013 9:17 PM

    Brian was a great player for the Bears-and alot of fans are pretty sour to see him go-however, the comments i’m reading are thoroughly dumb. I am going to break it down for the commentors on here who do not understand what a salary cap is, or, how the business of football works in general.

    Brian Urlacher is like an old sports car. Yes, at one point in time, he was the best there was, but unfortunately at this point in time, that car has over 150,000 miles on it, and it costs too much to repair. So instead of doing so, they are trading him in for a newer model.
    Yes, you had great memories in the car, smashing chicks in the back seat, and blowing the doors off of other sports cars, but unfortunately the time has come to let it go.

    Hopefully, this post/analogy wasn’t too hard to follow for the commentors who are saying The Bears organization should have given him 3- 6+ MM/year.

    The time has come to say good bye.

    Go Bears.

  111. Punk says: Mar 20, 2013 9:25 PM

    I scrounged my house looking for $10 to put into my gas tank because payday is still two days away and I am supposed to feel sorry for Brian Urlacher because he turns his nose up at TWO MILLION DOLLARS?!

    Sad times when the former MLB of the Chicago Beats is a prima donna.

  112. sdaim says: Mar 20, 2013 9:50 PM

    I’m a life-long Packers fan, but would like to wish the best to Brian Urlacher in whatever the future holds for him. It’s too bad he couldn’t have retired as a Bear, but no player seems to be immune to the trading block these days once he’s reached a certain point in his career. Perhaps Tom Brady will retire a Patriot, but even that isn’t a sure thing. Anyway, good luck #54 — the Packers-Bears games just won’t be the same without you.

  113. nodindenver says: Mar 20, 2013 10:02 PM

    He would look really good in predominately orange and, geographically speaking, we are nice and close to New Mexico! John Fox would have no problem kicking those tires and 54 deserves to hold the Lombardi.

  114. pantherdg says: Mar 20, 2013 10:04 PM

    Better not make any implications that Peppers is now the leader of the defense. As soon as that happens, he’ll want out. Too much of the spotlight highlights his plays off…

  115. packerbadger says: Mar 21, 2013 9:13 AM

    Packers should take him. Would be great to see him de-cleat Cutler and crush the Bears at Soldier Stadium!

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