And now that emotions have had an opportunity to cool, maybe there’s a crack in that door.
Bears chairman George McCaskey didn’t say no when asked about a possible return for Urlacher, saying the two had spoken since the decision was made to part ways. But it also didn’t sound like a return to the field was likely.
“It’s up to the market and Phil [Emery, general manager] and Marc [Trestman, coach],” McCaskey said, via John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. “Phil said it’s a process and we’ll just go through it and see what happens.”
“That’s not up to me. Bears fans should be reassured that I don’t involve myself in personnel decisions.”
That’s also easy way for McCaskey to recuse himself from an unpopular decision. The Bears football staff clearly decided they didn’t want him, and insulted him with a lowball offer which he wasn’t prepared to accept.
Since then, they signed former Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams, filling the spot lest Urlacher think it’s still open.
“Brian knows how we feel about him: He’s one of the all-time great Bears, continued the outstanding linebacker legacy of the Bears, he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame and everyone’s going to think of him as a Chicago Bear,” McCaskey said. “I said going into the process that I’d be heartbroken if he didn’t come back and I am. The whole family is.”
That makes it sound like McCaskey’s thinking about a post-retirement Urlacher, as Emery seems to have made it clear they didn’t want him on the field.