Shortly after 10 AM this morning, former Chicago Bears legend and middle linebacker announced his retirement on his Twitter account.
The Tweet read simply:
“It was an honor to play my entire career for the @ChicagoBears” and included a link to a picture of a longer written announcement that you can see below.
This announcement may shed some light on why Lance Briggs sidestepped an Urlacher-related question at OTAs yesterday.
Recent speculation had the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers as front runners to sign him. But the Ravens have brought in multiple linebackers including Elvis Dumervil to fill the gap left by Ray Lewis’s retirement.
The Chargers were seriously considering bringing Urlacher in up until the NFL Draft, where they took Manti Te’o in the second round. They’ve also recently signed outside linebacker/defensive end Dwight Freeney, leaving little room in the linebacker rotation.
A one-sentence Tweet provides a relatively unceremonious end to an illustrious career for a sure-fire Hall of Famer… for now. He hasn’t officially filed his retirement papers with the league office yet, and there’s always the chance he can take the Brett Favre route and un-retire in the near future if a team finds a need for a linebacker in training camp.
As the announcement stated, Urlacher’s heart just wasn’t in it anymore. Regardless, he’ll go down as one of the greatest middle linebackers of his era, and deserves his face etched into the Mount Rushmore of Bears Linebackers alongside Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary.
The Bears couldn’t send him off on top with a Super Bowl victory in his final year a la Jerome Bettis or Ray Lewis, but he can now claim the rare accomplishment of playing his entire career in one uniform.
Brian Urlacher’s Career Stats
– 13 seasons
– 1052 Tackles
– 41.5 Sacks
– 22 Interceptions
– 2000 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
– 2005 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year
– 8x Pro-Bowler
– 4x All-Pro
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