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Brian Urlacher's future in Chicago could be in jeopardy

With Lovie Smith being shown the door in Chicago, LB Brian Urlacher might not be too far behind him.

Christian Petersen

Brian Urlacher signed a 5-year, $40.6M contract extension with the Chicago Bears in 2008. That contract expired at the conclusion of the 2012 season, and he is now a free agent.

Earlier this month, I wrote that Bears fans might be seeing the end of an era in Chicago-- The Lovie Smith/ Brian Urlacher era-- and Phil Emery wasted no time in relieving Smith of his duties after the Bears failed to make the playoffs for the fifth time on the last six seasons.

And now, the long-standing face of the franchise is a free agent.

"If (the future is) not here, then it won't be here," he said. "I still feel like I can play some football, though. I'm healthy now. I would have played next week if we had gotten in, but it doesn't matter now."

Urlacher says he's healthy now, but I would guess that is a stretch. There is a reason he was on the sideline in what was one of the biggest games of the season.

"I don't know (how much football he has left). I have no idea," Urlacher said. "I don't even know if I'm going to be able to. Being a free agent in this situation right now, I'm not sure. We'll see how it goes the next few weeks or months, however long it takes to figure out what's going to happen."

Last season, Jerry Angelo was relieved of his duties. This season, Lovie Smith.

A new head coach will bring in his own vision, with his own system, and likely his own coordinators. Will he want to keep an aging middle linebacker on board? Or are Chicago Bears fans truly seeing the first major overhaul in years?

Stay tuned...