There are veterans the Bears might want to bring back, but general manager Phil Emery said he had no regrets over the handling of linebacker Brian Urlacher’s contract situation.
“Absolutely not,” Emery said, via Chris Boden of CSNChicago.com. “It was a very straight-forward process. We had a very honest and open exchange between Brian’s representatives. There was no lack of clarity. No surprises. Brian’s been a great player, a Hall of Fame player. He’s done great things for the Chicago Bears.
“We’ve committed more resources to Brian than any Bear in the history of the organization. We were willing to commit more. In the end, we just couldn’t agree to what that amount was, and it’s no more than that.”
Of course, Emery was willing to commit at a far lower level this time through, offering him a take-it-or-leave-it $1.5 million offer, which Urlacher not only left, but took as an insult.
That creates the possibility of some backlash among those who played alongside Urlacher for so long, something Emery is sensitive to.
“Guys like Lance Briggs have stepped up and, in his very own way, has said some good things. Tim Jennings. That’s all been very positive from the players,” Emery said. “At the end of the day, all NFL players know there’s a ceiling to how long they can play, and they grab every day. I know these guys want to win championships.
“Obviously, they have some sadness, and I’d be shocked if they didn’t. I’d be concerned if they didn’t. Brian was a great player, a great person. I see that as a normal part of it. I think they’ve done a great job of re-gathering themselves and moving forward.”
While Urlacher was shown the door, Emery said he remains interested in bringing back defensive lineman Israel Idonije. Of course, that’s not going to be at the $2.5 million he made last year.