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Now what for Brian Urlacher?

Brian+Urlacher+Seattle+Seahawks+v+Chicago+165ppgbK1cVl Getty Images

On Wednesday night, agent Ralph Cindrich tweeted a sage piece of advice for NFL players, suggesting those who have been released should “(go) into a hole for 24 hours” — and that the quiet time should double for players let go for the first time.

I’m not sure if Cindrich was specifically referring to Brian Urlacher, whom the Bears announced they weren’t able to re-sign on Wednesday. It doesn’t matter, really. In the end, it probably would be sound advice for Urlacher, very much a free agent right now, to have followed.

But let us consider Brian Urlacher’s situation for a moment. The Bears announced they were planning to move on without him.

I don’t know Urlacher, but I could understand why he would want to explain his side of the story to whomever asked him. Expecting him to turn the other cheek is a little unreasonable. He’s never endured anything like this at the NFL level.

Forget on-field defeats and the like — he’s coping with losing part of his identity.

I can also understand why he may not have completely ruled out returning to Chicago, as NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported, even with the franchise moving to make such a return pretty difficult. We’re talking about the only team, only locker room he’s known. Of course he’d consider reclaiming his spot, shaking this off as best he could, if the Bears were willing to give a little more on their side of the negotiating table.

Well, it’s hard to see that happening now.

If you want to boil this down to strictly business, go ahead. NFL teams make decisions like this all the time. Did Brian Urlacher overestimate his value? It sure looks like it. The Bears’ $2 million offer seems fair to me.

Perhaps Urlacher would be willing to take the same terms to play middle linebacker a different team. He indicated as much in an interview with Sirius XM on Wednesday. Two million dollars, Urlacher told the satellite radio service, “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.”

The question, of course, is whether any such deals are out there — or whether the Bears’ offer was as good as it gets.

We will see where Urlacher, who turns 35, goes from here. I’m not sure. He may not know.

But I do know this: He’s going to hurt on Thursday morning, the dawn of the first day of the rest of his football life.

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37 Responses to “Now what for Brian Urlacher?”
  1. jh500 says: Mar 20, 2013 11:49 PM

    retirement is his only option

  2. zn0rseman says: Mar 21, 2013 12:00 AM

    Ray Lewis was a liability on the field for the last several years and Urlacher has played fairly well and has meant more to his team. Doesn’t seem right that Lewis, a guy with loads of infamy off the field, should end his football days with a statue in Baltimore while Urlacher gets tossed out out of Chicago.

  3. rextraordinaire says: Mar 21, 2013 12:12 AM

    Anyone who has been in and out of a long serious relationship of any sort can relate to what Urlacher is facing here. Its like the morning after a break up; you pop your head up from the pillow and think “where the hell do I go from here?”

  4. minnesotablizzard says: Mar 21, 2013 12:14 AM

    Talk to Favre, come play your last season in the Tampa 2 under the dome..it’s nice and warm in the winter on your old bones. Hopefully if Urlacher signs with the Vikings they also draft an LB or two to have around the Urlacher lead defensive meetings/locker room their rookie seasons. Also for young guys like Erin Henderson and Harrison Smith. Urlacher is an investment for more than his on field production, just like Favre was.

  5. metalhead65 says: Mar 21, 2013 12:17 AM

    as a bears fan I have to say I am disappointed that it came down to this for more than him not being on the team. this means now they will abandon their offense first strategy it looked they were going with the first moves they made this off season. and will now draft a linebacker with their first pick instead of a offensive lineman, which the still need despite signing bushrod. because do not kid yourself the rest of the line sucked to, not just webb and no amount of coaching and new schemes will change that.

  6. larryboodry says: Mar 21, 2013 12:20 AM

    He could have just accepted the Bears’ offer, then proved his value on the field…And crying to the media after someone offered you $2 million for your services was maybe not the brightest move.

  7. bearnation90 says: Mar 21, 2013 12:39 AM

    Two million dollars, Urlacher told the satellite radio service, “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.”
    This sums it up. The guy made 50-100+ million through the bears and endorsements and he can’t settle for 2 million. I bet he signs for less with the queens or some other team. it’s not like he has that impact ray lewis had on others. just my opinion though. Beardown!!

  8. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 21, 2013 12:50 AM

    If he wanted to play for the Bears, he should have accepted their offer. No other team is going to give him more than $2 million for one year.

  9. chi01town says: Mar 21, 2013 4:09 AM

    For 2 million dollars I will work a different job everyday of the week
    and STILL play MLB for the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Urlacher is greedy

  10. joetoronto says: Mar 21, 2013 4:45 AM

    He’s going to regret his decision soon, unfortunately.

  11. fuglyflorio says: Mar 21, 2013 5:17 AM

    This is the sad end that comes to most NFL players … even the great ones. His skills are diminished as is his worth. He has to decide if he’ll take a what’s on offer from other teams … or leave that money on the table and retire with dignity. Truth is it’s hard to see anyone passing on a few million dollars … knowing that this kind of money will never come their way again. Good luck Brian Urlacher.

  12. GrossmanDaSexCannon says: Mar 21, 2013 5:18 AM

    All you idiots who are saying that no team is going to give him more need to shut up. There’s always a team willing to overpay.

    -Bills fan

  13. tennesseetyrant says: Mar 21, 2013 5:57 AM

    It seems like everyone is kicking his butt for simply stating he’s not going to play for the same rate that Moise Fakou is playing for . . . He deserves that much …

    I can see Urlacher going to the Raiders , Titans, Falcons , Jets, or Jaguars .

    Its a no brainer that the man is at the tail end of his career, however, that doesn’t mean that he can’t play . In the right situation anyone’s career can be extended , and with this chip on his shoulder it just might rejuvenate him for a few years yet .

  14. scoobies05 says: Mar 21, 2013 6:45 AM

    nothing against urlacher at all. a true great. but why bring up ray lewis. and to say he was a liability shows you know nothing about football. yes he did slow down but for the most part he played his position well. best of luck to urlacher and go ravens

  15. qbofthenever says: Mar 21, 2013 6:57 AM

    Ha. This is the guy who said “I don’t care what the fans or media think. They don’t know what they’re talking about.” And also spent an entire season answering every question with one word answers. Then what does he do when he feels hurt by the Bears??…..run to the media to get sympathy from fans. Sorry, Brian. Your best days are behind you…and this fan has moved on too.

  16. raqaiw says: Mar 21, 2013 7:24 AM

    zn0rseman says: Mar 21, 2013 12:00 AM

    Ray Lewis was a liability on the field for the last several years and Urlacher has played fairly well and has meant more to his team. Doesn’t seem right that Lewis, a guy with loads of infamy off the field, should end his football days with a statue in Baltimore while Urlacher gets tossed out out of Chicago.

    Lewis was a 2-time DPOY in both 4-3 and 3-4 alignments,and ended his career as a 2-time SB Champion. Urlacher doesn’t have those credentials,so he gets no trophy,and gets unceremoniously discarded. Infamy or not,Lewis’ career has been far better than Urlacher’s. Lewis has his own coaching tree!

  17. niubears says: Mar 21, 2013 7:45 AM

    At the end of his Sirius convo last night he said it wasn’t about the money? How is it not about the money? You’ll play for 5.5mil a year but not for 2? You’ve been overpaid for the last two years. Good luck trying to get the money you want

  18. gtodriver says: Mar 21, 2013 7:48 AM

    The Bears only have 5 draft picks for 2013.

    They now have no one to start at MLB, and no real back up.

    Which makes getting the best MLB in the draft critical to them. Which means they might have to move up in the draft – which will further reduce their draft picks.

    Maybe an extra $1 mil might have made sense…

    That’s their problem. As Minnesota Blizzard posted – I would think that Brian has enough value for the Vikings to bring him in – both for his on field abilities and his mentoring to young members of the defense and his ultimate replacement.

  19. chi01town says: Mar 21, 2013 8:25 AM

    Urlacher thinks he is the Bears and
    even tho he cant play no more he can still take 5.5 million dollars home for playing only 7 and a half games. I like ALL of Emery’s decisions. GO EMERY GO

  20. tampabay94 says: Mar 21, 2013 8:30 AM

    Urlacher, your’e a liability out there. Just retire before embarrassment ensues.

  21. ijahru says: Mar 21, 2013 8:43 AM

    Part of the problem is these athletes contracts are public knowledge. I really wish the business side wasn’t such a media magnet. When Sunday at 1pm comes around I really don’t care how much Tom Brady makes. All pro athletes make an incredible amount of money and sometimes reading them acting like they are being disrespected for being offered “only” 2 million a year is sickening. At least he didn’t pull a Ty Law and say he has too feed his kids.

  22. kabasaman says: Mar 21, 2013 9:02 AM

    Brian Urlacher has always been about Brian Urlacher. I think 2 million with incentives was a fair deal for a guy who made tons of money from the Bears and the Chicago media. He was good, great in fact: But, he is greedy, aloof, and basicly no friend of the Fans………..

  23. louiespoon says: Mar 21, 2013 9:10 AM

    Pissing contest with management, especially for old vets never goes in the player’s way….

  24. moeman79 says: Mar 21, 2013 9:17 AM

    There were no incentives on the 2 million offer they tried to ask for incentives Bears said no. 2 years 5-6 mil for urlacher or 2 million a year to some random nfl journeyman. they should of let him finish his career a Bear, we haven’t had a player like that for some time.

  25. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 21, 2013 9:30 AM

    I think the Vikings would be interested simply because they’d like to have a real division rivalry without having to win any championships.

  26. whitdog23 says: Mar 21, 2013 9:36 AM

    Minnesotablizzard…exactly which vikings qb or qb’s did favre help??

  27. jake6881 says: Mar 21, 2013 9:40 AM

    Come to Philly Brian. We would love your leadership on the field, locker room, etc.. I go to Chicago a lot for work and I am sure the average Bear’s fan is livid right now. You deserved better. You will get 3 million somewhere with an option for year if you hit incentives. We did Dawkins dirty and we will always regret it, always! He came back with pride and retired an Eagle but it was a huge black eye for Lorie and Banner. Our organization as a whole took a step back. Good luck, I hope you find a good home this year!

  28. tformation says: Mar 21, 2013 10:05 AM

    I think Brian will sign somewhere. For how much and will he get more than the Bears will offer him is the question.

    Sure, anyone would give him league minimum. But with a bum knee.. on the end of his career… more than 2 mil? I don’t know.

    I hope so for Brian’s sake. Likable guy, and he’ll always be a Bear. Thanks for the great plays, Bri. See you in Canton.

  29. jpb12 says: Mar 21, 2013 10:13 AM

    Hey – there’s always Paris Hilton

  30. mainesrd says: Mar 21, 2013 10:39 AM

    I’m sure Brian Urlacher will be just fine. I find it difficult to feel bad for someone who has made millions of dollars playing a sport.

  31. GenXJay says: Mar 21, 2013 10:42 AM

    Sad business deal for a future H.O.F.er.Happy times can resurface, Brian.
    Just call up our head scout. His name is Brett.
    Just imagine. You’ll be slamming ShAaron down again & finally knockin that punk Cutler to the ground (no redshirt practices).

  32. purpleguy says: Mar 21, 2013 11:22 AM

    Geez he’s gonna look wierd in another team’s uniform.

  33. iowahbr says: Mar 21, 2013 11:49 AM

    From reading a majority of the posts (and there were hundreds) concerning this whole Urlacher issue it’s clear that most of the posters have never played either div I college level or pro sports. At a certain level the physical abilities even out and the mental issues become more important. I don’t know where Urlacher stood in the locker room or with his teammates but if he was a leader in that sense this will cause a great deal of turmoil among the returning Bear players. Yes I know the NFL is a business first but the business is about winning and if the locker room is lined up against the management and the new coach 2013/14 will be a lousy year to be a Bear fan.

    The Bears owners might not care as all the Soldier’s Field tix are sold whether the Bears go 10/6 again or wind up at 4/12 this year but it’s not a good way to start a rebuild year with a new coach.

  34. granadafan says: Mar 21, 2013 12:10 PM

    If he can just swallow his ego, he’ll play somewhere else. It’s a shame that the business side of the NFL comes to play, but it is what it is. Much much much better players than Urlacher such as Rice, Montana, Favre, White, Manning were either traded, released or let go in their careers. He’ll live.

  35. joebone says: Mar 21, 2013 1:32 PM

    This is Olin Kreutz all over again; should have taken the check and retired with dignity.

    I don’t think Urlacher is going to end up anywhere else, but like Kreutz he won’t last very long in a new system. I’d set the over/under at 8 games and take the under.

  36. wnstonchill says: Mar 21, 2013 1:57 PM

    is is like a “girlfriend/boyfriend” break-up!
    Neither side wants to take the blame for the ending of the relationship and both sides take everything personal thus, you have the typical, I love you one day to I hate you the next, taking place. If the Bears’ brass had simply NOT worried about giving a counter offer and left it at that, this wouldn’t even be a conversation right now. The Bears and Brian Urlacher both know that his playing days are about over, and the Bears understood that it would be in their best interest to bring their team LEADER back for another year to help with morale and putting the defensive pieces together for the future. Unfortunately, most teams don’t have the luxury of paying $3 Million for a players leadership ability, only. It was a necessary move by the Bears, they just handled the End of Urlacher Era the wrong way, and in turn, Urlacher has hurt feelings because he’s given his heart and soul to this organization for the past 14 years and his pride is hurt.

  37. snikerbotloot says: Mar 21, 2013 3:39 PM

    cry me a river, the guy has made millions. to be able to walk away from 2 mil is a luxury

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