Brian Urlacher can't agree to a contract with the Bears, will test free agency

It's the end of an era in Chicago, after the Bears refuse to overpay Brian Urlacher

3/21/13 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) looks on prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsBrian Urlacher's time in Chicago is over, as he and the team were unable to come anywhere near an agreement on a new contract for the Bears' future HOF linebacker.

Urlacher was originally looking for a 2-year deal for $11.5M, but the Bears were nowhere near that number. And rightfully so. Urlacher has been a shell of his former self, and it would be salary cap suicide to even entertain the idea of paying him that much money.

The Bears countered with an offer of 1 year and $2M, and refused to negotiate further.

Personally, I'm with the Bears on this one.

Some Bears fans are upset, saying that they owe it to Urlacher to give him a little more, but the fact is that he's simply no longer worth any more money than that. If anything, the $2M was a slightly generous offer.

In the NFL, you simply can't afford to pay players based on past performance. Sure, Urlacher was great in the decade plus that he spent with the Bears. But they're offering him a contract based on how they think he'll perform in 2013, and that's a whole different ballgame.

Urlacher is upset with the team, saying that "it wasn't even an offer; it was an ultimatum. I feel like I'm a decent player still. It was insulting, somewhat of a slap in the face."

That's nice, but the Bears didn't see it that way.

We'll see if Urlacher can coax a few more dollars out of another team, but don't be surprised if he ends up sheepishly returning to Chicago and asking if that $2M deal is still on the table.
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