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The Bears Den: March 25, 2013 - Offseason news and notes

Rick Stewart

Urlacher's exit: Defining moment in Emery's game plan - Pat Boyle: Nobody is bigger than the team or its ultimate goal. Contracts won't be given out for past achievements. For the first time, in a long time, there is good reason to trust what is going on at Halas Hall.

NFL teams usually in tough spot when ushering a star toward the sunset - Sean Jensen: Emotions always run deep when a popular player approaches the end of his run, which puts the team in a precarious position based on the swan-song contract it offers.

Schweickert: Defense can still excel without Urlacher

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Who is the new face of Bears franchise? - Rick Telander: Try to put a face in the Bears’ helmet, the face of the franchise. Who would it be? It’s OK if you stumble. This was easy when Brian Urlacher was a Bear, but it’s not easy now.

Insulted Urlacher was given no choice but to part ways with Bears - Michael Silver argues that Urlacher's opinion on what should be considered "insulting" is the only one that matters.

View from the Moon - Moon Mullin with some more thoughts on Urlacher's departure, including the possibility that the Bears may have done him a favo(u)r.

Urlacher: I'd still be a Bear if Lovie weren't fired - Matt Zickus: Although admitting he understands the split falls on "the business side of football," and holds no ill-will toward the McCaskey family, Urlacher revealed he had reservations at the outset of the offseason about the team's willingness to bring him back. "Agent has talked with three teams."

Brian Urlacher deserving of a 54-gun salute - Dan Pompei: Big bare arms in the dead of winter. Steam rising from his now bald scalp. Throwing his head back and laughing. Loving the game. Someday, when we think of 54, that is the 54 we will remember and celebrate.

Will Urlacher struggle like McMahon and McMichael? - Bob LeGere: NFL players hoping to hang on for one more year at the end of brilliant careers often fail to approach the success they once took for granted, and several former Bears are prime examples.



Bears act fast, sign ex-Broncos LB D.J. Williams - Adam L. Jahns: Less than 48 hours after the Bears announced their divorce from longtime MLB Brian Urlacher, they brought in a veteran who could potentially take his spot. [Video] Jeff Dickerson: Can bring leadership to defense.

Bears add former BG star Zbikowski - Bob LeGere: Veteran safety from Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove High School signed a one-year deal with the Bears on Saturday. Dan Pompei: Zbikowski: 'Never been happier' after joining Bears.

Bears add LB James Anderson - Brad Biggs: Anderson, a third-round pick from Virginia Tech in 2006, was considered a hard worker and smart player, according to a Panthers source. He's in position to replace Nick Roach on the strong side.

MORE: Bears sign Williams / Zbikowski / Anderson

Bears answer questions, raise more - Chris Boden: There are definitely winds of change blowing at Halas Hall, and it's going to be a fascinating process observing whether it pushes the Bears up or down.

Devin Hester’s return to returning long overdue - Chris Burke: Allowing Hester to focus on the return game gives him the best chance possible to regain his special-teams dominance.

NFCN blog - Kevin Seifert takes a look at whether each NFC North team has been a winner or a loser in free agency. The Bears improved two positions that they haven't been able to get right in recent years.

Around the NFCN - Dan Pompei: If you find the NFC North unrecognizable this fall, it's not because your binoculars need adjusting. It's because the division has undergone some radical changes.

Draft preview - Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. takes a look at how two of the draft's top MLB prospects, Ogletree and Te'o, would fit with the Bears.



Four downs with Ditka - Da Coach shares his thoughts on Urlacher's exit, the new face of the franchise, and Mongo as mayor.


Polish sausage

NFP Sunday Blitz - Dan Pompei: How Mike Wallace changes everything; best FA WRs of all time; and all the latest NFL shop talk.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Brendan Kirby: Six months after pleading guilty in what he thought was deal to bury a DUI charge, Nick Fairley today himself back where he started.

Former Bear and fan / lockerroom favo(u)rite Spice Adams announced his retirement over the weekend. The big man's not being idle, though...