Reports over the past 24 hours have suggested that former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher may be close to signing with the Minnesota Vikings.
After the Bears very public divorce from Urlacher earlier this off-season, it appeared that the market for the middle linebacker was thin. There were reports that the Dallas Cowboys had interest in Urlacher in addition to the Vikings, however as weeks passed with the future hall of fame linebacker remaining on the free agent market, the chances of him signing with a new a team appeared to be decreasing.
Contributing to the lack of a market for Urlacher was the fact that middle linebacker was a shell of his former self. Urlacher played through the 2012 season while dealing with a knee injury and missed the Bears’ final four games of the season. In the 12 games that Urlacher did play for the Bears during the 2012 season, the linebacker recorded 68 combined tackles.
The Vikings throughout recent seasons have been going through a rebuild. A rebuild that paid off for the team during the 2012 season as the Vikings made the playoffs. The addition of Urlacher likely would not help the Vikings’ cause. The Vikings are incredibly thin at the middle linebacker position, but the soon-to-be 35-year-old Urlacher is not their solution.
Though, if Urlacher were to sign with the Vikings that would make for an interesting two games when the Bears and Vikings play each other during the 2013 season. The Vikings already set a precedent of signing players from rival teams when they signed former Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver Greg Jennings.
While the Vikings are pondering the potential of addition of Urlacher, the Bears are considering a potential subtraction from their roster.
Organized team activities began this week for the Chicago Bears on Monday. The NFL does not require players to attend organized team activities, however, the Bears have always had close to perfect attendance at OTAs. Attendance this off-season would seem to be especially important as the team has a new coaching staff under new head coach Marc Trestman.
That fact is apparently lost on offensive lineman Gabe Carimi. Carimi, who was the Bears’ first round pick in the 2011 NFL draft, has skipped the Bears’ first two OTAs. In an off-season that has seen the Bears add two offensive guards in veteran free agent Matt Slauson and first round draft pick Kyle Long, Carimi may be the odd man out on the offensive line.
The expectation is that Slauson will start at left guard for the Bears while Long may start at right guard. Carimi may be doing himself a disservice by now attending the Bears OTAs. A disservice that may windup costing Carimi a spot on the Bears’ roster to begin the season.