In March, linebacker Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears parted ways because they couldn’t agree on a new contract. Now, after 13 years playing middle linebacker for the Bears, Urlacher announces his retirement from the NFL via his official Twitter account.
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher said in a statement he posted on Twitter. “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 I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.”
Urlacher tested the free agent market after leaving the Chicago Bears because he believed he still had some football left in him, but reality set in when offers from other teams weren’t coming in.
“I want to thank all the people in my life that have help me along the way,” Urlacher continued. “I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss the great game, but I leave with no regrets.”
Urlacher told “The Dan Patrick Show” that there is no chance he will change his mind and play again.”There’s no scenario or amount of money that could bring me back,” Urlacher said. “… I’m very happy with my decision. I’m 100 percent solid on this. I’m tired of working out. As old as I am and as much as my body is sore right now, I’m tired of working out.”
“I didn’t call the plays before and now I’m calling the plays,” Briggs said via CSNChicago.com. “I just have a lot of respect … I’ve been spoiled for the last 10 years.”
The Bears selected Urlacher in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of the University of New Mexico and became one of the NFL’s top players as a defensive hybrid. Urlacher earned NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, was named to the 2000s All-Decade Team, AP Defensive Player of the Year (2005), and was an eight-time Pro Bowler.
He leaves as the Bears’ franchise leader in tackles (1,779), having started 180 games for the club from 2000-12. Urlacher is one of four players to post 40 or more sacks and 20 or more interceptions since 1982. His 22 interceptions ranked as third-most among linebackers since 2000, and his 16 fumble recoveries ranked No. 2 behind former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (19).
He is definitely a Hall of Famer.