Brian Urlacher, the face of the Chicago Bears for thirteen seasons, declined their offer. After all, a one-year, $2M deal is “insulting” (as Urlacher himself put it), when you’ve been THE Bears and a “12th Man” for so long, right? Wrong, Brian. Wrong.
This Bears fan has a bad taste in her mouth over the entire thing. I feel that Urlacher should have just accepted the offer, realizing where he is in his career, who he is to Chicago, the city, and to Chicago, the team. Swallow some pride and retire a Bear. The NFL is not all about peace, love and happiness. No matter how the fans feel about a player, in this case, Brian Urlacher, you don’t pay extra because of WHO he is. Teams do not spend unnecessary funds on players over feelings. You simply cannot manage a successful team with that train of thought.
I’m assuming, at this point, Urlacher is wishing he took that offer with a smile because it is not looking like any teams are scrambling to get at him in free agency. So, Urlacher is no longer with Chicago, and no one is really looking at him. Perhaps he will still retire a Bear and I can sleep well at night once again.
With Urlacher gone, what’s next for the Bears? Enter D.J. Williams. The former Denver Broncos linebacker signed with Chicago for chump change in comparison to what they had offered Urlacher. Williams signed a one-year contract for $900,000 with the ability to earn a maximum of $1.75 million if he reaches all incentives (which I predict will occur). You heard it here first, folks.
Williams’ stats pale in comparison to those of the Pro Bowler he is replacing. However, with Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli out and Mel Tucker in, who knows what Chicago’s defense is going to look like now? I’m hoping there’s not a drastic change. After all, Chicago is known for its defense, “The Monsters of the Midway.” Who else has hopped aboard the Bears roster? That’s what I’m here for: to serve, educate and hopefully entertain you a bit.
Former Carolina Panthers linebacker, James Anderson, has also signed with Chicago. In the 2012 season, Anderson racked up 73 tackles. In 94 career games with Carolina, Anderson tallied 454 tackles, eight sacks, five forced fumbles and three interceptions. I’m okay with all of that.
Then, we have veteran safety Tom Zbikowski. I believe it’s pronounced “you’re third, after Major Wright and Chris Conte,” but it’s still a nice pickup. Injuries do happen, and Zbikowski is a veteran player, but he knows and plays his position well. As a Notre Dame alum, he comes with a brain, too.
Speaking of the Fighting Irish, there is some buzz about Chicago looking at Manti Te’o for the upcoming NFL Draft. Let’s just hope this isn’t some fabricated internet…whatever. Yep. Went there.
All in all, free agency is treating Chicago pretty well. Bears fans should be pretty excited about all of the changes in coaching, the d-line and the buzz about who they’re looking to draft. Smells like roses to me. And those smell pretty darn good.