Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears Part Ways

The Chicago Bears and Brian Urlacher are parting ways.

Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears are parting ways after 13 seasons. The future Hall of Famer will now have a chance to play for a new team for the first time in his career.

One of the Chicago Bears most popular players, it’s surprising to see Brain Urlacher go. It’s more surprising Urlacher and the Bears would wait this long into free agency to make the move.

Brian Urlacher entered free agency negotiating exclusively with Chicago. New Bears head coach Marc Trestman believed there was a spot in Chicago for one it’s most storied player to return.

In a statement released today, Bears general manager Phil Emery said, “we were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward.” Emery then thanks Urlacher for his time in Chicago, “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.”

At this point in his career, Urlacher will probably play the role of mentor wherever he signs. At 34-years-old he is the same age as Ed Reed, who recently found out teams aren’t willing to pay a lot of money for older players.

Over his career Urlacher went to the Pro Bowl eight times, was an All-Pro five times, and appeared in one Super Bowl. He was always the undisputed leader of the Bears defense and helped shape their reputation as one of the most physical units in the league.

The end of Urlacher in Chicago, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis in Baltimore, and Dwight Freeney in Indianapolis signals the end of an era in the NFL. The landscape of league and teams are changing as younger talent is moving in. There is still room for the league elder statesmen, just not in the ways we’re used to seeing.

Are you surprised to see Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears parting ways?