Urlacher Willing to give Hometown Discount to Resign with Bears
There has been some discussion about whether or not Brian Urlacher has played his last game in a Bear uniform. At full price, I would have suggested to let the all-time great Chicago Bear take himself to the train station. However, at a discounted rate there is no reason he shouldn’t be playing in Chicago in 2013.
Brian Urlacher said Tuesday he has yet to hear from the Chicago Bears regarding his future, but the veteran linebacker is hopeful that he will be back with the team for a 14th season in 2013.”Chicago is my home,” Urlacher told “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on WMVP-AM 1000.“Whether I play for the Bears or not, that’s my home. So I want to be there and hopefully we can work something out, but if not I’ll go somewhere else.”Urlacher is set to become a free agent soon after the Super Bowl. Asked if he definitely would be playing somewhere in 2013, Urlacher said, “For sure, yes. Still feel like I can, a little bit.”
And if it’s not in Chicago?
“Either way I’ll be good,” he said. “I’d like to play there but if not, I can move on. It’s not that big of a deal.”
Urlacher indicated that money was not a top priority for him and, given his age (34) and recent injury history (knee and hamstring ailments that cut short his last two seasons), he said he’d be willing to give the Bears a hometown “discount.” He had a base salary of $7.5 million this past season.
“When you look at my age and everything, it’s going to be hard to not give them a discount,” Urlacher said. “I’m not going to make what I was making in the past, how about that? Does that make sense? That’s fair.”
Urlacher acknowledged that the injuries made for a trying 2012 season.
“At times I felt like I was playing pretty well. I was just so inconsistent,” Urlacher said. “I was never really in football shape. It was very frustrating for me to be out there and just not be able to do what I normally do. I think I can get back there, though … just through training in the offseason and get back into it, and practicing. Gosh, I missed so much practice last year. It was frustrating.”
Urlacher remains loyal to fired coach Lovie Smith, who reportedly plans to sit out the 2013 season after failing to land another head-coaching job. Asked if he would have wanted to follow Smith to a new city, Urlacher said, “No. … I want to be a Bear. I want to play for the Bears, that’s my first choice. And if it didn’t work out there, then yes, I’d definitely want to go play for him, wherever he was.”
Asked playfully whether he ever would consider joining the archrival Green Bay Packers, Urlacher chuckled.
“I’ve never thought about it, but with the way things go now in the NFL, the ways guys jump around on teams I guess nothing is out of the realm anymore these days,” he said. “I never pictured that but you never know what’s going to happen. … You definitely don’t want to say yes to that question because I don’t think that’s a possibility. Even if it was, I don’t know if I would want to do that, to tell you the truth.”
Urlacher said he hasn’t yet spoken with new head coach Marc Trestman and didn’t follow the Bears’ coaching search closely, but endorsed the hire.
“I knew he was in the running for it, and I know he’s got a pretty good resume … offensively, which is the direction the Bears want to go in, obviously,” Urlacher said. “So I wasn’t surprised … you look at what he’s done, where he’s been, the numbers he’s got, he was a good choice.”
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