Brian Urlacher announces his retirement

AP

Bears linebacker Lance Briggs misses playing alongside Brian Urlacher, but he isn’t going to have to get used to seeing Urlacher play in another uniform.

Urlacher sent out a tweet on Wednesday saying that it was an honor to play his entire career with the Bears and including a link to a longer statement announcing that he has decided to retire from professional football.

“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher wrote. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of yo everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”

The decision might have been different had Urlacher found a more robust market for his services as a free agent this offseason, but there was barely any market to speak of for the eight-time Pro Bowler. So he’ll ride off into the sunset after a very successful career that is likely to land him a yellow blazer as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at some point down the line.

110 responses to “Brian Urlacher announces his retirement

  1. Not a big fan of his, but it’s good to see someone do the honorable thing and retire as an icon with the team he played his career with.
    Too bad Bert Favor couldn’t do the same.

  2. Whether he comes back or not, he’s definitely a Hall of Famer. I’m not really a Bears fan, but you can’t deny that he played that position the way it was meant to be played.

  3. I’m a Packer fan and wish to congratulate Brian in his upcoming retirement. While I wont miss seeing him play against us he was always a class act and a great player.

  4. Thank you. Finally I can stop hearing these “experts” say Urlacher to the Vikings, even though it has had zero, nada, zip chance of happening.

  5. Congrats on a great career – loved the cat & mouse game between him and Favre and later him and Rodgers just before the snap. He certainly will be in Canton in a few years.

  6. As a life long Packer fan I can say that I am glad that he won’t be staring down A-Rod anymore.

    First ballot HOF, absolute beast of a player, and one of the greatest to ever play the position. Had to be a very tough decision for him but he leaves a tremendous legacy.

  7. A ferocious competitor, and in his prime, one of the best linebackers in the game. Thank you #54 I’ll look forward to seeing you in Canton.

  8. ”he’ll ride off into the sunset after a successful career”

    successful? really? lol this guy always complained. and was not very good.

  9. Lions & Football fan. As much as I hated him throughout his career against us, he is class all the way.

    He did everything the right way and I’m glad to see he’s going out on his terms. He was moved to a position on a team that commanded a certain presence and he delivered. Congratulations on a amazing career, wish you the best and look forward to seeing him in the HOF in the future.

  10. Wow,,,, but i cant say that I am surprised.As a die hard Chicagoan and Bears fan,what Brian Urlacher meant to our organization can never be replaced.He played that MLB position as great as any player in NFL history.I wish he could hace received at least a 2 year deal to close out his Bear career,but all great things must come to an end! The number 54 should never be worn again! When the bears win the súper bowl this year its sad Brian wont be with us!!!

  11. It’ll be a good year for LBs at HOF if 5 years. Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher retire the same year. QBs can breathe easier.

  12. I think he could be tempted to come back…but who knows. Seems like he is pretty set on it at this point. Man, so in one off-season we say farewell to Lewis, Urlacher, Barber and Birk. That is just off the top of my head.

    I know it happens each season, but those guys right there were some of the best at the respective positions for many years. For Lewis, Barber and Urlacher, they got do it all in one uniform for their entire career, as well, which is just awesome! Best of luck to #54. And yes, he is HOF bound. Let the argument begin though whether or not he is a first ballot HOFer. I’m sure plenty will say yes while plenty would say no. Me personally, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be.

  13. Cost himself a guaranteed $2 million and one last year to go out with da Bears, to the cheers and adoration of the Chicago fans, by letting his ego make his decision.

  14. “After spending a lot of time this spring trying to find a job, anywhere, and coming up empty handed, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher wrote. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure anyone wants me on their team anymore. I think Vince Young will get probably a job before I do.”

    I love the guy and think hes one of the best all around MLB, and people, to play in this era but just having some fun at his expense. I think we all know that if someone wanted him, he would be playing.

  15. While I am sad to see him go, I believe he is making the right call here…As a Bears fan, it has been great watching him these past 13 years, and I wish him well in retirement.

    Nice to see rival fans (except for one idiot) showing respect, as well…Hope he lands in a broadcast booth someday.

  16. There’s a right way to do things and there’s a wrong way, and in the eyes of this Packer fan Urlacher did things the right way far more often than most can hope for. Congrats on an awesome career that puts his name right up there with great Bears defenders of the past.

  17. On behalf of the reasonable Packer fans seeing him retire is a sad day. In his prime he was a beast and made the Packers vs Bears rivalry a must watch for all football fans.

  18. Retirement…That’s when you return from work one day and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.

    Played with passion, have to respect that.

    Enjoy retirement.

    Bear fan

  19. I don’t recall Earlicker playing the past 3 years anyway…..only nub bear fans thought he was worth anything….those of us outside Chicago know the truth about Mr. Over-rated
    Could give 2 rats ass’ about Urlacher retiring or not, should have happened 5 years ago….another example of a idiot athlete who hung on too long because he is too stupid to do anything but play football….
    This whole thing is a non-story….
    I have spoken, my truth shall set you free…

  20. Class act. I shall remember him for who he was in his prime. Not how he left this team. He should really go into coaching.

  21. As a Packers fan I give him much respect. He was always classy and a great player on the field. But the last few years he’d intercept Rodgers at least once per season, so I won’t miss that. But that tells you how good he was.

  22. Sorry, I’m not seeing him as a HOF guy. Good player that sometimes was very good. But he was always a bit overrated in my view.

  23. Thank you for the 13 years you have given our beloved Chicago Bears as you are one of the greatest middle linebackers in Bears’ history as we created the position. I wished the Bears would have treated you much better than what they did, but you’ll always be one of my favorite players to ever play the game. Thank you Brian Urlacher #54 for leaving everything out on the field.

  24. Most Steeler fans would probably agree that he played the game the right way. Nothing but respect for his body of work on the field.

    Kind of strange to lose Ray Lewis and Urlacher in the same year. I don’t think the league will see that kind of tough, devoted, run-stopping, 3-down warrior as a star at middle linebacker again. The great middle linebackers of the future will probably be hybrid safeties, situational players, and will need much more specialized pass coverage or blitzing skills.

  25. navyeoddavee9 says:
    May 22, 2013 11:54 AM
    Hall of very good, not hall of fame
    ______________________________

    In all his 13 years the Bears have been known for outstanding defense. With rotating Head Coaches, D-Coordinators, personnel, etc. He’s been in the middle calling plays, adjustments, and making plays himself.

    8-time Pro Bowler
    5-time All-Pro
    Defensive player of the year in 2005.

    In his prime of his career, no scrambling QB has ever been able to dominate that defense. He held guys like Donovan McNabb and Mike Vick (in their prime) in check by himself. He’s run down faster Runningbacks when most other ILB couldn’t.

    This guy is far from overrated or a non-HOFer.

  26. The guy is a class act and loves the game of football. I’ll miss him on Sundays and have a bitter taste in my mouth towards the Bears for not getting him a Super Bowl win. All it took was a mediocre, if that, offense to get them to the Super Bowl while he was there. Its a shame.

    Thanks ‘Lach for making us proud of our D. Your one of the best and will be missed. Stick around Chicago Bud—we all owe you a drink or two!!

  27. Thanks for the great years, Brian. At your prime, you were the best. Best wishes to you.

    -a Seahawks fan

  28. I’ll always remember Urlacher as the guy who captained what was for a short time one of the best defenses I’ve ever seen.

    In 2006, the year Urlacher led the Bears to a Super Bowl, the team’s Give/Take was a +13, and that was with Rex Grossman throwing a whopping 17 INTs that year. Urlacher would of and should of had a Super Bowl ring that year if it wasn’t for Lovie Smith.

  29. GOOD cause its time for Urlacher to
    except the fact that he cant run anymore. CHICAGO IS CUTLER’S TEAM NOW. like it should have been
    when he first got here.

  30. He deserved better than the way its ending for him. You will be missed #54, all the respect in the world. Class act, couldnt ask for a better opponent, competitor, leader.

  31. Gonna miss seeing him on the field for sure. Played that position to the max and was a role model for future players. Happy trails and we’ll see you in Canton.

  32. He was a good backer in his day.

    It’s just too bad he has to claim Bears’ fans as his own.

    How embarrassing.

  33. In his prime, this guy was like a heat seeking missle tracking down the ball carrier or QB. It didn’t matter how far away from the ball he was… once he spotted the play, he was there in a flash and seemed to be involved in almost every play.

    Great player and congrats to him and his retirement.

  34. Urlacher is one of the greatest to play LB will def. see him in the HOF soon.

    Love all the eagles fans posting on this story that they will be the champs this year… Just one question to said eagles fans (@noodlecbs bathroombenlovemachine )

    How many superbowls have the eagles won so far?

  35. Very good player even if somewhat overrated. I give him credit for retiring when he realized his physical skills were in steep decline and his talent no longer in demand at his price. Props to Urlacher for staying with one team and almost helping them make it to the Promised Land.

    He’s a name player from a name team so he’ll wind up on TV soon enough. I hope he has a healthy, happy retirement.

  36. As a true blooded Viking fan I want to say thanks for the memories Brian. You were an awesome player and a class act. You energy and style of play will be missed. Brian played the game with fun and passion. The way it should be played.

  37. chi01town says:May 22, 2013 12:21 PM

    GOOD cause its time for Urlacher to
    except the fact that he cant run anymore. CHICAGO IS CUTLER’S TEAM NOW. like it should have been
    when he first got here.
    ———————————————————

    Urlacher could have and would have gone elsewhere, but retired as a Bear. Its fans like you who dont even deserve to have had the pleasure to watch somebody like him, and on top of it have him be so loyal to a franchise with parasite fans like you. Why would it be Cutlers team when Cutler cant wait them a damn thing, and Brian used to literally win the Bears games by himself as a MLB. Have fun watching “Cutlers team this year” it should work out well. I cant believe as a Packers fan I even had to write any of this.

  38. With Lewis and Urlacher now retired, we may have seen the end of the great middle linebacker in the NFL. Brian will take his place in Canton alongside Bears LB greats Singletary, Butkus, and Nagurski.

  39. Urlacher was a stud. The undeniable heart of that defense. If you doubt how tremendous he was, just look at what always happened to that defense if Urlacher went down.

    With Urlacher, they were consistently among the best defenses in the NFL. Without him, a borderline sieve. For the position and role that Urlacher played in that defense, you couldn’t have constructed a better specimen in a laboratory.

    Hated when the Packers played against him, but always admired him.

    -Packers fan

  40. 1. Enroll in some acting lessons.
    2. Act in a few movies/tv. Commericals does not count.
    3. Get a role in a Jack Reacher HBO movie series.

    Thank you.

  41. Great career for urlacher. As a packer fan, its been tough watching him the last year or two. He hasnt been the same urlacher, or close to it. Hang up the cleats, maybe do some tv work, and start writing your HOF induction speech. Too bad he couldnt get a ring, he deserved one.

  42. Actually he wasn’t cut, he was a FA who turned down an offer to return…Big difference.

  43. I say the Vikings help him retire. When you get to the stage in your career where you aren’t even wanted by the Vikings who have set the standard for taking other team’s cast offs and broken down players, then its best to retire.

  44. “I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards.”

    And yet he was INSULTED when the bears made him an offer to reflecf what he currently can do.

  45. Anyone saying he was “cut” is just being stupid. He was like Hines Ward – too much fire in the belly – the team had to give him a little nudge out the door. Once they both realized how silly they would look wearing a different team’s colors and playing at half speed, they shut it down themselves.

    Nothing dishonorable about the way he is going out at all.

  46. Urlacher was way overrated. He was overweight, slow, frail and always injured. The Bears and the Bears fans will be better off without him. I mean after all, i didn’t release him, the Bears did. And not ONE single team called his agent. Ha Ha! Nuff said. Geaux Saints!

  47. noodlecbs says:May 22, 2013 12:02 PM

    He was over-rated anyway. Who cares?

    Eagles = Super Bowl 48 Champions

    -1960-
    ———————–
    In 1960 the Super bowl hadn’t been invented yet.

    What noodle was tryhing to say is SB XLVIII.

  48. He was tough as nails.

    I remember a game against Green Bay either 2 or 3 years ago. He broke his wrist and then when the Bears defense came back on the field after the Pack was done on offense, Brian CAME BACK to play more defense …….. with the broken wrist. It wasn’t until the next defensive series that he called it quits for the day.

    Holy cow.

    We always seemed to do better in a game if Brian was out with an injury.
    .

  49. Many props for being an outstanding lb and a thorn in our sides. You will be missed.

  50. salmen76 says:May 22, 2013 1:43 PM

    Urlacher was way overrated. He was overweight, slow, frail and always injured. The Bears and the Bears fans will be better off without him. I mean after all, i didn’t release him, the Bears did. And not ONE single team called his agent. Ha Ha! Nuff said. Geaux Saints!

    ———————————————————-

    Drew Brees threw a million picks last year he’s overrated and the Saints cannot and never will win a meaningful game outside of a dome. You root for an Arena League team, Geaux home!

  51. chi01town says:
    May 22, 2013 12:21 PM
    GOOD cause its time for Urlacher to
    except the fact that he cant run anymore. CHICAGO IS CUTLER’S TEAM NOW. like it should have been
    when he first got here.

    WTH? Really? Wow. How old are you? And maybe learn how to spell. It is accept; not except. I agree with the Packers fan who said he couldn’t believe he even had to respond to this…and yeah that OL might be better and Cutler should do well, but good luck with him being the “leader”. He has shown too many times to be a whiny, pouty punk. A lot of talent but no real leadership that I’ve seen since he entered the league.

  52. Yea, that rookie wage scale that was supposed to transfer all of that undeserving money from top ten draft picks to veterans who still can play is going to do wonders for the game. I’m sure there are 32 better inside LB still in the NFL.

    Keep grinding those players, Goodell and greedy owners, add some more playoff spots to water down your sport some more. Eventually, the product of your sport will become as much of a joke as the NBA and NHL are.

  53. Rather see a player of his caliber retire than hang on on degrade his legacy any day.

  54. He didn’t have to retire. The Bears made him an offer. Thought it wasn’t enough money. He claimed that he was insulted. No one else knocked on his door. His pride wouldn’t let him take the Bears offer. He should have consulted James Harrison.

  55. Chi01town from that ridiculous post I will give you credit for one thing and that is you’re an unbiased troll or just very naive one.

  56. God bless you #54! Nobody left it all out on the field like you did for 13 years. You’re a first time ballot hall of famer and one of the greatest MLB’S in Chicago Bear history alongside #51 and no doubt one of the best in the history of this league. Thank you for everything!!!!!!

  57. navyeoddavee9 says:
    May 22, 2013 11:54 AM
    Hall of very good, not hall of fame

    ===========================

    I’m no Bears fan but that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

    8 Pro Bowls
    5 All Pros
    1 Defensive Player of the Year
    Defensive Rookie of the Year
    NFL 2000’s All Decade Team
    Bears Franchise All Time Tackle Leader

    If I’m Canton…. I’d start getting that Bust ready.

  58. A tip ‘o the hat from this Packers fan.

    Bear Nation was going in another direction anyway, but at least you can finally have your closure on this situation.

    Good luck Brian in your future pursuits, even after all the nightmares you’ve given me and my team.

  59. Congrats on a great career- living up to the legacy of those who played MLB before him in Chicago- Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus.

    Sadly, I think that legacy may have ended, partly because of the changes to the game and partly because their is no player like Urlacher or Singletary or Butkus to assume the legacy at MLB for the Bears.

  60. Urlacher is a good guy. But frankly, for nearly half of his career, he was the 2nd best LB on the Bears (the 1st being Lance Briggs). Any objective fan would agree.

  61. As a Seahawks fan I have the utmost respect for Urlacher. He was always the stoic Nobel warrior. A refreshing polar opposite of another notable MLB

  62. Classy move. Wave the white flag and walk away. Great player, great career. But will he stay retired? Is a contender one injury away from making an offer he can’t refuse?

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