Brian Urlacher wanted to end his career as a life-long Bear, but the fates didn’t align for that to happen. Still in the wake Urlacher’s official departure from the team, the future hall of fame linebacker has spoken critically about the way his tenure with the Bears came to an abrupt end.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune Urlacher’s agent approached the Bears for a two-year deal worth $11.5 million, but the Bears were settled on a 1-year $2 million deal. Urlacher has stated the following:
“It wasn’t even an offer, it was an ultimatum,…I feel like I’m a decent football player still. It was insulting, somewhat of a slap in the face.”
“They came back with the offer and said, ‘This is what it is, take it or leave it. It was, ‘If you want to play for the Bears, you’ll play for this. If not, then you’re not playing for the Bears.’ “
Urlacher said he was willing to bring down his offer and play at a $3 million had the Bears been willing to keep negotiation talks going. Urlacher then continued:
“This whole offseason, I had a bad feeling about this situation anyway. I just wish they would have said, `We don’t want you back.’ I think this whole thing is just about them saving face and trying to say that they made a run at me. That’s what I think it is.”
“There are no hard feelings between me and the Bears organization…I had a great run here. I’m going to miss the (heck) out of my teammates.”
A bitter end to what was a storied run. Not all sports endings go down with Ray Lewis and John Elway type of story book finishes, sometimes things are anything but.
Urlacher has no plans on retiring and will be a hot commodity for teams lacking defensively.