Former Bears linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher is among several athletes who will join MLB legend Alex Rodriguez and platinum recording artist Jennifer Lopez in their bid to buy the MLB’s New York Mets. ESPN’s Vaughn McClure was the first to break the story.
Urlacher will join fellow NFL alumni DeMarco Murray and Joe Thomas, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, as well as two current NBA players, Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal and Nuggets center Mason Plumlee, in the investment group.
Urlacher commented on the possibility of holding an ownership stake for a professional sports franchise:
“Being a former athlete and having a chance to be a part of a group trying to purchase a professional team, it’s pretty cool,” Urlacher told ESPN on Monday. “It’s especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You’ve got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It’s great to be in a group with them.”
As McClure mentions in his report, Rodriguez and Lopez initially made a bid of $1.7 billion to the Wilpon family, who currently owns the organization. The bid currently falls short of that made by billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, who currently has the highest bid at $2 billion. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, the son of majority owner Fred Wilpon, prefers to sell the franchise to Rodriguez and Lopez if the power couple can put forth a bid closer to the top offer.
Rodriguez and Lopez, who became engaged in 2019, had begun taking interest in purchasing the Mets in May of this year. The Wilpon family has shown interest in selling the franchise due to hazardous financial conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions between the two sides had previously stalled due to the Wilpons wanting to maintain control over SNY, the Mets’ television network, as the organization relies heavily on its TV deals to prevent operating at a major deficit.
Urlacher retired from the NFL in the 2013 offseason after a 13-year career with the Bears. He finished his career with a franchise record 1,353 tackles, eight Pro Bowl appearances and five All-Pro nominations. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, his first year of eligibility.
Since his retirement, Urlacher has participated in a handful of endeavors, becoming an analyst for Fox Sports 1’s Fox Football Daily from 2013 to 2014. He is currently the co-owner of TerraVerde Landscape Solutions, a business he operates with childhood friend Brandon Ridenour. He has also served as a spokesman for RESTORE Hair Transplant and Restoration, the firm that performed his hair transplant surgery in 2016.