The Chicago Bears have to decide if they want to bring back free agent middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, and his recent comments place the onus on general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman. Urlacher would like to stay in Chicago.
Brian Urlacher has been the face of the Chicago Bears for the majority of his 13 seasons. He was a critical part of Lovie Smith's Cover 2 defense, but with a new coaching regime in place, the logical time to part ways could be this off season.
It seems weird that there's a distinct possibility that No. 54 will be playing elsewhere in 2013, but we've yet to hear anything official from the Bears regarding a new contract. Rumors circulated that he would be a candidate to play for Lovie if he were to coach in 2013, but with Coach Smith sitting a year out, the door crept open for Urlacher to stay in Chicago. Then the rumors started that he may follow Rod Marinelli to Dallas, but there's been nothing substantial from Cowboys camp about a possible move to Big D.
In fact we haven't heard much of anything from Urlacher, until today.
Earlier on the Waddle and Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Urlacher made his desire to stay in Chicago pretty clear.
"Chicago is my home. ... Whether I play for the Bears or not, that's my home," Urlacher said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I want to be there and hopefully we can work something out, but if not I'll go somewhere else."
If we remember correctly, the injury that sat him down for the final four games on the 2012 season was his hamstring, and not his knee. He admits to not being able to get in football shape, due to the original knee injury and the setback of the knee scope. When an athlete isn't able to properly train his body, he's susceptable to strains and pulls. There's no reason to think that a full off season won't be enough time to get his body right, and prepare himself for a 14th season.
New Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is already on record in saying that he plans to keep the Marinelli terminology intact, and that the "Lovie" scheme will remain basically unchanged. Since this is the case, re-signing Urlacher makes complete sense.
He's even laying the framework for a potential deal to stay in Chicago.
Urlacher, who will be 35 by training camp, acknowledged that a pay cut is "fair" for a player of his age.
"When you look at my age, 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."
Seems fair to me, now it's up to the Bears...
What do you guys think, if Urlacher is recovered from his injuries, should he come back?