The aftermath of the Chicago Bears announcement that the team is parting ways with middle linebacker Brian Urlacher is one that has been filled with Urlacher taking subtle shots at the Bears’ front office. One thing that was learned during Urlacher’s career with the Bears is that the middle linebacker does not hold anything back when speaking his mind. That openness by Urlacher has been on display throughout this past week.
Urlacher is clearly frustrated that he will not be playing for the Chicago Bears during the 2013 season. The Bears offered Urlacher a one year take it-or-leave it contract worth $2 million. Urlacher rejected the proposal from the Bears’ front office, and that is when the team announced that they are parting ways with the middle linebacker. That is when Urlacher insinuated that the Bears were not negotiation, rather the team issued him an ultimatum. Urlacher also indicated that if Lovie Smith were still the head coach of the Chicago Bears, then he would still be a member of the Bears’ organization.
There is no question that Urlacher would still be playing for the Bears if Lovie Smith was the head coach. That is why the time was perfect for the Bears to part ways with the linebacker. Smith is no longer the head coach, that distinction belongs to Marc Trestman. The Bears will no longer be running Smith’s style of defense, it will be similar under new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, but it will not be the same. Urlacher was the ideal middle linebacker for Smith’s style of defense. But with a new coaching staff and when you consider the fact that Urlacher has essentially been playing on one knee and is on the wrong side of 30, the Bears made the right decision to part ways with Urlacher.
Urlacher feels that the Bears’ $2 million offer was meant for him to be a locker-room figure, and that essentially is what it was. Urlacher’s value to the Bears as leader outweighed his value to the Bears as a player at this point in his career. That would be why the Bears made the right decision not to overvalue leadership qualities over playing abilities.
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