Brian Urlacher says he’s disappointed with how things went down with the Chicago Bears, but that he’s never been upset. The Bears decided to move on without the face of their franchise, announcing so very quickly after negotiations weren’t getting anywhere between the two sides. While Urlacher insists he isn’t upset, he doesn’t know exactly how it would go down if the team eventually tried to bring him back to retire his number and send him out the right way.
Brian Urlacher joined ESPN Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to discuss his message to Bears fans, how he feels about where he currently sits, the Bears’ quick release of a statement that they were moving on without him, not being upset with the Bears and what kind of player he can still be on the field.
What do you say to Bears fans?:
“Well, I had a great time here. Thirteen years is a long time to play in one place in any sport, especially football. … But the fans have always been great here, especially to me. Whether we were good or bad, they still came out and froze their butts off in the winter. … Much appreciation to the fans. I’ll always hold our fans to a higher standard than other fans.”
How do you feel about things at this point?:
“Honestly, it wasn’t a shock to me that it went like this. I said this before, I told my agent at the beginning of the offseason that I don’t have a good feeling about the Bears. There was no dialogue going back and forth; they didn’t even talk to my agents. I specifically told my agents not to call the Bears because I wanted to see if they really wanted me back or not. They didn’t contact us until the combine. They met and asked us to send a proposal over. … Just never could get a deal worked out. We had another proposal sent back after they sent theirs over. … The Bears were stuck on their offer; that’s what they had in mind and they weren’t moving. So it just didn’t work out, and I wasn’t surprised one bit.”
How disappointed were you that Bears brass didn’t call you before releasing the statement that they were moving on without you?:
“It was amazing how fast they released it. They got off the phone with my agent at I don’t know what time it was, and 30 seconds later they already had the email on Twitter. So they already has the statement prepared, obviously. … They knew what was going to happen. They were ready for it, obviously. … I would’ve appreciated the call.”
On not being upset:
“I’m not upset. I was never upset. I understand the business side of football and it was just time to move on for me. That’s all there was to it. I was never upset. Disappointed? Yes. Did I want to be a Bear? One hundred percent. But it just didn’t work out.”
Do you envision a day that they can bring you back, retire your jersey and send you out the right way?:
“I have no idea. I honestly have no idea if that would ever be possible.”
What type of player can you still be?:
“I guess on the field is the only way I can answer it. My body feels great, finally. My knee feels good now. … I’m just finally working out and doing things I need to do to get better. … I felt like midway through the season last year, I started to get better finally. I was getting in football shape and actually starting to make some plays on the field like I used to do. But then I pulled my damn hamstring so it didn’t matter. It was frustrating. But yeah, I still feel like I can impact a defensive football team.”