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Bears’ tactics with Urlacher may turn out to be brilliant

Urlacher AP

It was odd, to say the least, to see the Bears issue a press release proclaiming the pulling of the plug on their relationship with linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Why not just leave the one-year, $2 million offer on the table and wait for someone else to offer more?

Like many teams who want to close the door on a legendary player, the Bears surely prefer that Urlacher play neither for them nor for anyone else.  The Packers weren’t able to pull that off with Brett Favre, and the Colts couldn’t do it with Peyton Manning.  Could Chicago do it with their iconic defensive captain?

In this specific case, the Bears’ offer resides at a minimum in the fringes of the ballpark for an aging middle linebacker.  It’s entirely possible that no other team will be offering substantially more.  If that’s the case, how can Urlacher join any other team while still saving face?

It wasn’t really an offer,” Urlacher recently told SiriusXM NFL Radio.  “It was either sign or we don’t want you. . . .  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.”

That last part suggests Urlacher perhaps would play for that little for someone else.  Still, it will be a big and bitter pill for Urlacher to take far less than the $5.5 million per year he claims his side offered.

Which means that Urlacher could end up walking away.  Which means that the Bears may have stumbled across the secret sauce for keeping Urlacher from playing for them — or for anyone else.

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34 Responses to “Bears’ tactics with Urlacher may turn out to be brilliant”
  1. fuglyflorio says: Mar 22, 2013 9:16 AM

    Well done Bears. That will teach Urlacher a lesson he won’t soon forget. A fitting reward for all those long years in Chicago. Nicely played.

  2. tokyosandblaster says: Mar 22, 2013 9:22 AM

    The bears and brilliant should never be uttered in the same sentence.

  3. footballfather says: Mar 22, 2013 9:23 AM

    Urlacher didn’t give the Bears the offer of $5.5 million/year because he wanted that much per year….he gave them that offer because they asked him to start the negotiations. Urlacher was willing to take less than that. He knew the negotiations would go down from $5.5 million/year. He just didn’t want to take 1 year, $2 million. Nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t want to either. Bears handled the situation wrong, no doubt. I’d be bitter if I were Urlacher.

  4. footballfather says: Mar 22, 2013 9:25 AM

    But as a fan of a rival team, I’m just hoping his NFC North days are done. :)

  5. 34sweetness says: Mar 22, 2013 9:30 AM

    Didn’t one PFT writer call it an insult the other day?

  6. ijr213 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:33 AM

    To be fair, Urlacher said he wouldn’t play for the Bears for $2 million. This could mean he’d play for another team for that sum.

  7. deathmonkey41 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:36 AM

    F lovie smith.

  8. britishteeth says: Mar 22, 2013 9:38 AM

    I’m smelling Olin Kruetz part deux.

  9. gator2006 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:39 AM

    Reopen talks and sign him for 3.5MM

  10. jimbo75025 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:42 AM

    Teams will continue to huff and puff about Urlacher until after the draft. A few will then realize that the player they “wanted” was no long available in the draft. Urlacher will then sign somewhere for something in the $2.5 million range.

  11. roadbiscuit says: Mar 22, 2013 9:48 AM

    WOAH. This is the first time in history that a team has lowballed someone. Pure genius.

  12. j4man1 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:54 AM

    secret sauce?

  13. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:55 AM

    Amazing. Trestman comes up with the revolutionary idea of getting rid of an aging veteran, and people act like he just invented penicillin.

  14. crazycane says: Mar 22, 2013 10:03 AM

    Hardest thing in sports, per several HC’s, is to tell an aging former super star that it’s over.

  15. officialmiamidolphinsspokesperson says: Mar 22, 2013 10:04 AM

    Best Brian Urlacher pic..looks like he just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar

  16. b921 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:04 AM

    The difference here, of course, is that Manning and Favre both had something left in the tank making them worth more than a low ball salary offer from their current teams.

  17. chi01town says: Mar 22, 2013 10:07 AM

    Urlacher made his choice the 2 million dollars was not enough money so he walked away. Dont blame the Bears cause they tried to
    keep him. Emery has to Build a championship team and he is doing just that GO EMERY GO

  18. miriam45 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:10 AM

    Tossed like garbage!

  19. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:12 AM

    I will withhold final judgement until I see who is in the Bears’ LB room come August, but this does not feel like a brilliant move to me. I just assumed Urlacher would be back this whole time.

  20. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 22, 2013 10:14 AM

    Somehow, I’m missing the brilliant part here. They offered Urlacher what he was worth in response to Urlacher trying to highball them. Urlacher responded angrily and emotionally.

    And this is not analogous at all to the situations with Favre and Peyton — who still had LOTS of value (real and/or perceived) in the NFL marketplace. Urlacher’s value at this stage isn’t even in the same hemisphere. He can’t even lift his knees when he runs.

    In short, the Bears did not purposefully concoct some genius blueprint here — you’re reading into it way too much, again.

  21. matiberio says: Mar 22, 2013 10:15 AM

    Does Belichick like him?

  22. myeaglescantwin says: Mar 22, 2013 10:19 AM

    looking forward to the bears sucking for another decade.

    They hitched their train to two divas in Marshall and Cutler, and let the only emotional leader on the squad walk away.
    BRILLIANT POLICIES FELLAS.

  23. 85bears says: Mar 22, 2013 10:22 AM

    it was time.. i really believe that we were better off with him.. teams would burn us in the middle if he was to be out there regardless of his leadership

  24. 85bears says: Mar 22, 2013 10:22 AM

    without*

  25. mjkelly77 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:24 AM

    Players, take note of this. Dedicate your whole career to this team and they’ll kick you to the curb. They’ll low-ball you to the point where its a push when compared to relocating due to the cost and disruption in your life and the lives of those ypu love. The Bears are indeed bad news.

  26. mjkelly77 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:26 AM

    tokyosandblaster says:Mar 22, 2013 9:22 AM

    The bears and brilliant should never be uttered in the same sentence.
    _________________

    It’s OK as long as you use the word NOT.

  27. mjkelly77 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:31 AM

    ijr213 says:Mar 22, 2013 9:33 AM

    To be fair, Urlacher said he wouldn’t play for the Bears for $2 million. This could mean he’d play for another team for that sum.
    _________________

    Revenge is sweet and can be its own reward. Urlacher should sign with the Lions for the vet minimum. He can show up the Bears by knocking Cutler out the first time they meet.

  28. 15starr says: Mar 22, 2013 10:39 AM

    Packers do this every year. Nothing new.

  29. blackandbluedivision says: Mar 22, 2013 11:17 AM

    Anyone have the Bears cap number? All I hear is Urlacher complaining about how much he wants. Does he not realize that he only has Lance Briggs lined up next to him (if he did come back)? The offensive line sucks, Cutler needs pass-catchers.
    The Bears could be using that money to get better not stay the same.

    Earth to Urlacher, to Bears days of only focusing on Defense are over. It didn’t win us championshps while you were here, so a change needed to be made.

  30. scrp2 says: Mar 22, 2013 11:25 AM

    5.5 Million a year? Wes Welker doesn’t make that much.

  31. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 22, 2013 11:59 AM

    I don’t think any decision like this can “turn out” to be brilliant. You can’t wait for future information to decide if a decision today is a good one or a bad one; that’s highly illogical. It either is or it isn’t and nothing in the future can change that fact.

    The only question is to what confidence level today can you identify with one of those choices being the correct choice, because there is ZERO percent change that both of these choices could be correct, there can and only ever was one, just like with any decision.

    That being said, this decision has already turned out to be brilliant because it is, automatically and instantly. Unless of course the premise and logic that feeds my opinion of Urlacher not being a value player is flawed in any way.

  32. thompsonway says: Mar 22, 2013 8:59 PM

    Wow, I guess that Loyalty and class left with Lovie. I am not slamming Emery or Trestman here. This is Urlacher’s issue. When you listen to Urlacher, you don’t hear loyalty, or love for the Bears. You hear a spoiled kid, who just asked the cash strapped Bears for more than they can give, then he called it “a slap in the face”. Well, Urlacher, the real slap in the face is you not playing for the Bears when they need you the most. The first time the Bears couldn’t pony up the cash, your willing to go to some other team for the same or less. Wow.

  33. chi01town says: Mar 22, 2013 9:52 PM

    Emery is doing Exactly what he should do. getting rid of OLD players whom cant play at a high level. Urlacher cant help the team win the Superbowl because hes only playing 7 games. the Bears need to get young… good players that will buy into the system NOT have OLD players whom will resist because hes crying over Lovie

  34. larryboodry says: Mar 23, 2013 3:04 PM

    Good move by the Bears, now they can focus on finding his replacement, rather than waiting for Brian to finally realize that $2 mil for one year is all that he’s likely to get. As for DJ Williams, he is not a MLB, he should be a WILL backer only.

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