The era of Brian Urlacher as the All-Pro middle linebacker of the Chicago Bears is over.
Bears’ GM Phil Emery announced the hard news Wednesday.
We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward, Brian has been an elite player in our league for over a decade. He showed great leadership and helped develop a winning culture over his time with the Bears. We appreciate all he has given our team, on and off the field. Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears.
Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune that he originally sought a two-year deal worth $11.5 million with hopes that it would lead to negotiations, but the Bears’ ONLY offer him a one-year contract worth $2 million.
“It wasn’t even an offer; it was an ultimatum,” Urlacher told the Tribune. “I feel like I’m a decent player still. It was insulting, somewhat of a slap in the face.”
Urlacher countered with a one-year, $3.5 million offer with incentives that would have allowed him to make an additional $500,000, but the organization never budged.
Urlacher stated that he would prefer to finish his career in Chicago, but said there are no hard feelings left with the organization and that he doesn’t plan to retire. He feels healthy and is determined to play at least one more NFL season.
I wish the best to Brian and he will always be a Chicago Bear.