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2013 NFL Free Agency: Brian Urlacher draws interest from the Vikings

It wouldn't be the first time that a face of an NFC franchise ended up playing for a rival at the end of their career.

Jonathan Daniel

There are plenty of folks who still think future Hall of Famer and 13-year veteran middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will work out a new deal with the Chicago Bears, but this is certain to raise some eyebrows.

Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Urlacher's representatives had spoken with the Minnesota Vikings in recent days, along with the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals.

A Vikings source confirmed talks with Urlacher's camp, but said the team was "monitoring" the situation and still believed Urlacher eventually would remain with the Bears.

Urlacher is looking for a deal in the range of the $5.5 million Ray Lewis earned in his last season with the Ravens, a source said. It's unlikely the Bears would pay that type of money and not responding to the offer may be a less-than-subtle way of avoiding an embarrassing negotiation.

We all remember Jim McMahon suiting up not only for the Minnesota Vikings after leaving Chicago, but ending his career with the Green Bay Packers. And of course, Brett Favre played his final days in Minnesota before retiring.

It's never a pretty sight for the fans when your face of the franchise dons the jersey of a division rival, but at the end of the day, the NFL is a business.

While these are undoubtedly just cursory discussions, it only solidifies the need for Phil Emery to address his linebacking corps in serious fashion. Geno Hayes signed with the Jaguars early in free agency, and Nick Roach is not having trouble finding teams interested in his services.

If Urlacher leaves town, the best linebacking group for so many years in the NFL is suddenly watching its well run dry.

Stay tuned...