After attempting to work out a new contract with the Bears for the past few months, the two sides were unable to work out a new deal and are preparing to move on without one another.
Urlacher, 34, has been one of the best middle linebackers in football for over a decade and his absence will leave a monstrous hole in the Bears’ defense. There should be a number of suitors interested in Urlacher’s services, including division rivals Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, but with money being the issue in Chicago there are questions as to whether anyone will be willing to pay the roughly $6 million for him.
There is always the possibility that Urlacher isn’t interested in playing for less than his requested value and will retire instead. If so, Urlacher had a very productive career, including eight Pro Bowl selections, making five All-Pro teams and winning the 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
All of those accolades and his impact on the game will likely find him a place in the Hall of Fame some day, as Bears chairman George McCaskey said of Urlacher on Wednesday.
“Over the last 13 years Brian Urlacher has been an outstanding player, teammate, leader & face of our franchise,” McCaskey said via the Bears Twitter account. “He embodies the same characteristics displayed by the Bears all-time greats who played before him and he will eventually join many of them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Urlacher’s future in the NFL may be up in the air, but whatever he decides to do, his legacy will remain in Chicago.