Brian Urlacher is retiring from the NFL after spending 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears. According to reports, Urlacher turned down a $2 million, one season offer.
As a linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Urlacher led a massive defensive squad that was largely responsible for the Bears wins amongst horrid offensive play over the last decade.
In a statement regarding his decision to retire, Urlacher wrote:
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my N.F.L. future, I have made a decision to retire. 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.”
Brian Urlacher reportedly asked the Chicago Bears for a two-year contract worth $11.5 million. When offered the lower sum, the Pro Bowl caliber player called it a “slap in the face.”
Unfortunately, the linebacker did not receive any other offers after suffering through slowed performance amid various injuries. Urlacher’s final season was cut short after he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 13.
Over his illustrious career, Brian Urlacher accounted for 1,358 combined tackles, 41 ½ sacks, and 22 interceptions.
While his career may be over, the Chicago Bears star will most definitely stand alongside Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary as one of the greatest middle linebackers of all-time.
It’s hard to believe that the Chicago Bears lineback was picked ninth overall in the 2000 draft. It’s even harder to believe that, under his immense leadership on defense, the Bears only managed one Super Bowl appearance in 2006, a match they ultimately lost to the Indianapolis Colts.
As a Chicago Bears fan, I will admit that even with his aging play, I will miss seeing Brian Urlacher take to the field. While he may not have the same power he once did, his ability to call plays and read the offense will be sorely missed.
Are you surprised that Brian Urlacher has retired from the NFL?
[Image via Wikipedia / Mike Morbeck]