Brian Urlacher No Longer a Chicago Bear: What Do You Think?
Should the Bears have offered more money to keep Urlacher in Chicago to finish out his career?
The Bears will open the 2013 season without Brian Urlacher running the defense. The 13-year veteran middle linebacker, arguably the most popular Chicago Bear of the last decade and a mainstay in the Bears defense, could not come to financial terms with the Chicago Bears.
The Bears offered a one-year deal for $2 million. Urlacher, 34, initially asked for two years totaling $11.5 million but says he would have settled for $3 million. Wednesday, he called the Bears offer "a slap in the face."
Urlacher's ubiquitous jersey could be seen on Bears fans of all ages and was among the NFL's most-sold jerseys through 2010. The eight-time Pro Bowler recorded 1,779 tackles, a Bears franchise record, and many believe he's a future Hall of Famer. In 2005, he was NFL Defensive Player of the Year, only the second Bear ever to achieve that.
As good as he was on the field, his off-the-field endeavors provided fodder for the tabloids. He hooked up briefly with Paris Hilton, and at the height of his popularity Urlacher fathered a child with a Joliet woman, Tyna Robertson. The two wound up in court feuding over child support and custody issues, with Robertson alleging Urlacher wasn't fit to be a custodial parent because he dressed their son in pink diapers and painted his nails in a Bears-blue polish. (What would Dick Butkus say about that?)
Two years ago, Bears legend Gale Sayers said Urlacher was old, "on the downside of his career" and probably couldn't handle business on the field anymore, prompting Urlacher to retort: "Does (Gale Sayers) know how to win football games? Does he? No."
Until last fall, he was in the thrall of comedienne Jenny McCarthy, a born-and-raised South Sider and Mother Mac girl who now lives in Geneva. Last year, Urlacher underwent knee surgery.
So, it looks like No. 54, one of the game's elite linebackers, will finish out his career with another team. Will you miss him?