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The Bears Den: March 21, 2013 - Offseason news and notes

The end of an era; the beginning of a new one?

Doug Pensinger

Bears unable to reach agreement with Urlacher - Larry Mayer: The Bears on Wednesday announced that they were unable to reach a contract agreement with star MLB Brian Urlacher.

Trestman shares impressions of Bears offense - Dan Pompei: Coach Marc Trestman talked of an ambitious offense that can do many things.

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Urlacher, Bears part ways

Urlacher no longer with Bears; both sides ‘move forward’ - Adam L. Jahns: Even though Trestman wanted him back and that some members of the team brass said they hoped he would retire a Bear, the team knew what the market said, and they weren’t going to overpay.

Bears, Urlacher part ways - Moon Mullin reports on the end of #54's time with the Bears and looks back on his career with the team. [Video] View from the Moon - "I'm stunned."

Bears-Urlacher negotiations doomed from start? - Lauren Cook: Former Bears MLB describes franchise's response as an "ultimatium" rather than a counter-offer. [Audio]

Urlacher calls Bears' offer 'insulting' - Vaughn McClure: When the Bears sent out a news release Wednesday saying they were parting ways with their longtime leader, the reality of the moment caught Brian Urlacher by surprise.

Dane Noble: Brian Urlacher will NOT return to Chicago


Urlacher departure: further analysis

Parting ways with Urlacher creates huge hole at LB - Brad Biggs: Bears can find a stopgap but no real replacement appears readily available in free agency or the draft with Brian Urlacher-like ability.

Draft preview - Kevin Seifert with the draft's top five MLBs, according to Mel Kiper's hair.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - What does the news of Urlacher's departure mean going forward?

Urlacher void much bigger than hole at MLB - David Haugh: In effectively dismissing Brian Urlacher, the Bears essentially are handing over locker-room leadership to Jay Cutler.

Praise Brian Urlacher, but this was right move for Bears - Rick Morrissey: What else were the Bears supposed to say when reporters asked them about Urlacher’s future? That the man couldn’t run anymore? Once, nobody could drop back in the middle of the Cover-2 better than #54. That’s how we should remember him.

Loss of Urlacher will be lamented little - Mike Mulligan: There is no victim in the Brian Urlacher departure from the Bears; it's the way of the NFL world.

Urlacher decision: If not now, when? - Kevin Seifert: It's clear, no matter what might be said publicly, that the Bears wanted to jump-start the process of rebuilding a LB corps that has remained largely intact for years. In the end, they had ignored this pending transition long enough.

Sad but realistic end for Bears icon - Jon Greenberg: At 34, Urlacher was welcomed to the reality that almost every NFL player faces. Eventually your team doesn't need you and you go from franchise icon to guy on the street. He deserved a better exit from the Bears, but there isn't much time for nostalgia in the NFL.

Urlacher far from first unfortunate departure by Bears greats - Moon Mullin: Assuming he catches on with another NFL team, Brian Urlacher will not be the first distinguished Bears alum to leave under less-than-cozy circumstances and take his talents elsewhere in the league.

Urlacher departure a casualty of NFL life after 30 - Clifton Brown: With so many teams feeling salary cap restraints, young players in their prime are having trouble getting new deals. As for older players on the downside of their career, forget about it.

[Video] ESPN - John Clayton's thoughts on where Urlacher's NFL future may lay.


Urlacher: A Bears retrospective

Bears 'settled' for Urlacher in 2000 draft - Moon Mullin: He was perhaps one of the better “accidental” draft picks of all time, a football cousin of the Bulls being stuck with Michael Jordan at No. 3 in the 1984 draft after teams ahead of them chose others.

Urlacher’s HOF career started as a mistake - Moon Mullin looks back at Brian Urlacher's unpromising start to his rookie season, and how he eventually went on to win defensive rookie of the year hono(u)rs.

Kreutz calls Brian Urlacher one of greatest ever - Brad Biggs: Olin Kreutz can relate to the way Brian Urlacher has left the Bears, and credits his locker room leadership.

Brian Urlacher timeline - All the way from his predraft days at college to yesterday. Photos: 10 key Brian Urlacher moments.



Offensive changes coming for Cutler, Hester - Moon Mullin: When the Bears made TE Martellus Bennett a priority signing in free agency, it made more than Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth expendable.

On the extent of Devin Hester's focused role - Kevin Seifert: On Wednesday, coach Marc Trestman revealed how serious the team is about narrowing Hester's duties to be primarily a returner.

Cutler's arm, agility intrigue Trestman - Dan Pompei: The new coach of the Bears knows if he gets Cutler’s mechanics cleaned up, the QB might be something special.

Bourbonnais will matter this year - Moon Mullin thinks there's a lot to keep an eye on with the new coaching staff in place.

Bears sign Turk McBride - Vaughn McClure: The Bears have agreed to terms with DE Turk McBride on a one-year deal, the team said Wednesday.

DE McBride signing sends curious signals - Moon Mullin: What the McBride signing points to with regard to Israel Idonije and Shea McClellin will play out through this offseason.

Bears show willingness to pounce on free agents - Dan Pompei: But they acknowledge there must be a balance in acquiring talent with the draft to minimize age and salary situations regarding top players.

Steven Schweickert: Bears upgrading instead of relying on development

Ex-Bears DB Moore signs with Panthers - Vaughn McClure: Former Bears nickel back D.J. Moore signs a one-year contract with Carolina.

Captain Munnerlyn staying with Panthers - Jeff Dickerson: The Bears offered Panthers FA Captain Munnerlyn a one-year contract, but the CB tweeted Wednesday night that he is staying in Carolina.