In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday, free agent middle linebacker Brian Urlacher said he suspected he could be parting ways with the Bears well before the franchise essentially bid him adieu earlier in the day.
“I honestly can say I’m not shocked at this news at all,” Urlacher said, according to a transcript from SiriusXM. The way things have been going the last month, month and a half, I really saw it going this direction. I even told my agents that. So I really wasn’t that shocked when this happened today.”
Urlacher, as he also told the Chicago Tribune, called the Bears’ one-year, $2 million offer an “ultimatum.”
“It wasn’t really an offer,” Urlacher told Sirius XM hosts Jim Miller and Alex Marvez. “It was either sign or we don’t want you.”
Urlacher said his agents initially asked for two years at $5.5 million per season. Urlacher indicated that he was “(obviously) willing to work down from that because you’re not going to get what you ask for your first time, we know that.”
Urlacher told SiriusXM the Bears didn’t respond for 2-3 weeks before countering at one year, $2 million.
“Which is a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but for me to go through a season, put my body through what it goes through during a season at my age, I’m not going to play for that, you know, not for the Bears at least,” Urlacher told Miller and Marvez. “So we made a counter offer and that was never acceptable to them. They said, basically, our offer is one year, two million.”
Now, it appears Urlacher’s Chicago career is about over.
“I’ll always be a Chicago Bear no matter where I end up or where I retire, whatever happens,” Urlacher said during the interview with Miller and Marvez. “Obviously, this is where I’ve played the most years at. I don’t think I’m going to play 13 more years somewhere else. So I’ll always be a Bear but just not anymore on the playing field, I guess.”