By now everyone knows that Brian Urlacher was not signed by the Chicago Bears as the two sides couldn’t agree to terms. Was this a smart move by the Bears though?
One side of it is that Urlacher is getting older, he has lost a step or two and the Bears can’t afford to pay him the money he wants. The other side is that the Bears have no apparent replacement for number 54 especially now that they let Nick Roach sign elsewhere. The Bears defense has at most 2 years left to play (Up for debate) at their current level as all key players are aging as well. And you can look at stats all you want but there is no way to understand his leadership unless you are in that locker room.
The Bears don’t need to sign another hall-of-famer at linebacker to fill Urlacher’s void but they do need a competent player who can hold his own and run the defense. To me the Bears will miss the leadership that Urlacher brought and I don’t see Lance Briggs or Charles Tillman filling that need, at least not completely. Looking at Phil Emery and his track record I have hope that he has a plan and that the need will be addressed in the draft. I do agree with Urlacher that it was a “slap in the face” that Emery and the Bears did not call him to let him know of the situation, rather Urlacher found out through other sources. However I can’t say it was a “slap in the face” when it came to the contract because this is a business and sometimes like they say, good things must come to an end.
Only time will tell us if this was a good move but no one can argue that Brian Urlacher was an amazing player who gave his all to this city, to this organization and to his team mates. You will be missed number 54, we thank you for everything you have done.