Article written by Dave Thomas - Guest Poster
Some things just seem to go together.
When you think of the legendary NFL franchise that is the Chicago Bears, you think of guys like Gayle Sayers, Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. That last name, well, it appears Bears management doesn't think enough of it to let the linebacker retire in the black and white one day.
Earlier this week, the Bears and Urlacher both announced that the future Hall of Famer would not be back in the Windy City for his 14th NFL season come 2013.
According to the reports, Urlacher was offered a one-year deal, with the hard-nosed linebacker seeking a deal more along the lines of two years, at a cool $11.5 million. As push came to shove, the two sides could not find a middle ground that would suit them both. So, it seems like rather than retire, Urlacher will take his skills elsewhere.
To put things in perspective, Urlacher made more than $7 million a season ago for the Bears, but the franchise apparently wanted to reduce that figure substantially for the upcoming season, dropping it down to a mere $2 million. Yes, $2 million still sounds pretty good to most folks in the real world.
As Urlacher sees it, the offer was not only essentially an ultimatum, but also more insulting than anything else.
In a statement released to the press, Chicago GM Phil Emery stated that the first-round draft pick out of New Mexico and 8-time Pro Bowler is now a free agent, this after being slowed by a knee problem and then missing the last four games of the 2012 campaign due to a hamstring injury.
"We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward," Emery commented. "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."
So, Bears fans and Urlacher, 34, are left with what seems like the reality that number 54 will retire in another uniform, taking his franchise-high 1,691 tackles (according to Bears team page) elsewhere. A worst-case scenario for Chicago fans is that the uniform could possibly be green and yellow (Packers) or maybe even purple and gold (Vikings).
As a Bears fan, did you ever imagine one Brian Urlacher retiring anywhere else than in the Windy City?
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers a variety of business topics, including doctor reputation management.