Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will not don another NFL jersey. After spending nearly three months on the free agent market, former Chicago Bears’ middle linebacker Brian Urlacher announced his retirement.
Unfortunately, this is a disappointing end to what was a glorious career for Urlacher with the Chicago Bears. The beginning of the end was when Urlacher suffered a season-ending injury in the Bears’ December 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks. Once the off-season began, there was growing speculation that Urlacher was not going to return to the Bears in 2013.
With a new head coach in Marc Trestman and new defensive coaches, this off-season presented the Bears with an opportunity to part ways with the future hall of fame linebacker. That is essentially what the Bears did with a low-ball offer of $2 million for one year. Urlacher rejected the Bears offer and was determined to find employment elsewhere.
Though as the weeks passed and the free agent market developed, it was becoming increasingly clear that teams had their reservations about Urlacher. Urlacher has been playing through injuries since breaking his wrist in the first game of the 2009 season against the Green Bay Packers. Though, injuries to his knee in each of the past two seasons severely limited what the linebacker was able to do on the field.
That is why at the age of 35 and a recent history of knee injuries, Urlacher decided to time was right to retire. Urlacher finished his career with a total of 1,353 combined tackles to go along with 22 interceptions and 41.5 sacks.
Urlacher released the following statement to announce his retirement: