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The Bears Den: March 22, 2013 - Offseason news and notes

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Brian Urlacher and what No. 54 meant to the Bears - Ricky O'Donnell: There will be another MLB in Chicago next season, just as there was another after Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary departed. But you can be sure there will never be another No. 54.

Steve Maneri excited to join Bears - Larry Mayer: The Bears agreed to a two-year contract with TE Steve Maneri, a 6-7, 280-pounder who spent the last two seasons with the Chiefs.

Kev: Bears to sign TE Steve Maneri

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Urlacher exit: reaction & analysis

Chicago made tough (and wise) decision on Urlacher - Adam Schein: Brian Urlacher had a spectacular run with the Bears, but he clearly is past his prime. The Bears' past was great because of Urlacher. By making an educated and intelligent decision, Emery and Trestman will keep the future bright.

Urlacher's time in Chicago may be over, but his legacy isn't - Jen Lada: The long-time face of the franchise has been cut loose. It's a crappy situation, but it happens; no amount of handwringing or pleading or petitioning is going to alter it. But Brian Urlacher has nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to prove.

Bowen: There won't be another MLB like Urlacher - Chris Boden talks to Matt Bowen and gets the former NFL safety's take on Urlacher's exit. [Video] "He's going to Canton"

Greg Blache: 'Heart is bleeding' for Urlacher - Brad Biggs: Bears' DC for the first four seasons of Urlacher’s career says his “heart is bleeding” for #54 as he fondly recalled the MLB as a person he and his wife consider a son.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Moon, Zaidman et al. on Urlacher's departure.

Bears' idea of respecting Urlacher looks disingenuous, deceitful - Steve Rosenbloom: It's not so much that the Bears parted with Brian Urlacher, it was the sloppy, squirrely and deceitful way they went about it.

Bears’ players saddened to lose team leader Brian Urlacher - Adam L. Jahns: Coping with loss and then change has become a way of life for Bears players this offseason. First, it was their coach. Now, it’s the face of their franchise.

Urlacher exit: Could it really have ended any other way? - Moon Mullin: Unless the Bears were willing to bid against themselves, or Urlacher was willing to play for them at a rate set by a non-existent market, his time with the team was done.

Why Urlacher, Ed Reed no longer were needed - Gregg Rosenthal: The Bears didn't want to keep Urlacher. The Ravens saw Ed Reed as a below-average starter. At least that's what their longtime teams said with their contract offers.

Urlacher great player but difficult to embrace - Mike Imrem: Brian Urlacher made it easy to wrap your mind around him as a Bears LB but so much more difficult to wrap your arms around him as a guy.

Urlacher's farewell tough to bear - Michael Wilbon: Brian Urlacher is another casualty of an NFL system that shows no mercy -- even for icons.

Where should Brian Urlacher play next? - Nate Davis: Eight potential landing spots now that the former Bear is looking for work.

Buffone: Urlacher should walk away from the game right now - Bears legend Doug Buffone thinks Urlacher will embarrass himself if he tries to sign with another team.

Lester: Was Urlacher a liability in pass coverage in 2012?

NFCN Blog - Kevin Seifert: Retired GB receiver Donald Driver offered an honest assessment of Urlacher's declining skills and predicted he will retire as a Bear.

Ask the rabbi: Urlacher, Bears both “right” - Moon Mullin: An excerpt from The Joys of Yiddish provides the perfect take on the situation.

He'll always be #54.


Replacing #54

Urlacher leaves hole of fame in Bears’ ‘D’ - Adam L. Jahns: Phil Emery undoubtedly has a plan in place for this situation — which also includes the loss of SLB Nick Roach — but it won’t be an easy fix.

Finding Urlacher’s replacement - Dan Durkin: Given how thorough Phil Emery appears to be, it’s safe to assume there’s a plan in place. Who are the best options available in FA in in the draft?

How can Bears fill the Urlacher void? - Bob LeGere: The answers to the Bears' LB problems won't be found on the current roster.

Te’o should not be Urlacher’s replacement - George Ofman: Leadership in a locker room is palpable. So is someone with baggage and Te’o has enough to fill a Carnival cruise.

Lester: Mocking the Mocks: Manti T'eo, LB, Notre Dame



Details released in the arrest of Evan Rodriguez - Sean Jensen: Bears TE Evan Rodriguez is facing a $1,500 bond for charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.

Lester: TE Evan Rodriguez arrested

Plenty of top FA talent still available for Bears to sign - Sean Jensen: Free agency is a week old, and nearly 360 FAs are still looking for jobs. About 160 veterans signed, but only a handful signed premium contracts, and the market is only getting softer.

Dan Pompei's Bears mailbag - Readers' Q&A about life without Urlacher, why the team hasn't signed Charles Tillman to an extension, and J'Marcus Webb's psyche.

Who has two thumbs and their latest OSS linked on NBC Chicago? - In other news, Maggie Hendricks is probably aware that Den > Bites.

David Taylor: OSS: Bears of War 4 (Judgement)


Polish sausage

NFP Agent's Journal - Jack Bechta: What are scouts really looking for at the college pro days?

Crown of the helmet rule change causing a stir for nothing - Don Banks: The NFL is focusing on a safer game with fewer head injuries, and that means focusing on making sure the helmet is used for its original purpose: protection, not punishment. In this era of greater awareness of head trauma, this one is a no-brainer, so to speak.

Constant rule changes a maddening fact of NFL - Steve Silverman: Other sports will change their rules on occasion, but the NFL does it every season. Sometimes major, sometimes minor.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert: Everyone and their brother is excited about the Lions' potential for a balanced and explosive offense after the acquisition of Reggie Bush. It all makes perfect sense. What could go wrong?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Drew Sharp: It's always something with this franchise. Jeff Backus' retirement means the Lions have no choice but to draft an OT at #5 overall.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Anwar S. Richardson: Lions president Tom Lewand is restructuring contracts this offseason, but is not worried about future salary cap implications.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Mike McCarthy: "If I were playing us, I'd use read-option."

Know thy enemy: Packers - Tom Silverstein: In the not too distant future, Aaron Rodgers is going to account for roughly one-sixth of Green Bay's salary cap.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Mike McCarthy hates being asked if the Packers are a physical enough football team, but they did little last season to support his claim.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Tom Pelissero: Unlike Harvin, Greg Jennings' precision in route-running has the potential to inject some much-needed rhythm into the NFL's 31st-ranked air attack.

Two of this girlband are sisters of one of the members of Boyzone, so: Blame ThorCo.