Friday, March 22, 2013
Urlacher would have liked call from Bears
By Jeff Dickerson
CHICAGO -- Free agent linebacker Brian Urlacher said Friday he would have appreciated a call from a member of the Chicago Bears to tell him the organization was moving on before it issued a press release announcing the split.
Brian Urlacher hopes to play a few more seasons.
"I would have appreciated a call from, maybe not (Bears general manager) Phil (Emery), but (team chairman) George (McCaskey) or somebody else I've been around," Urlacher said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I haven't been around Phil; he's been here for one year so I don't know him all that well, but (a call) from somebody else in the organization I've been around for a long time (would have been appreciated)."
The Bears announced Wednesday that they would not re-sign Urlacher for a 14th season after the linebacker turned down their one-year offer that could have totaled $2 million.
Urlacher also took issue with the way the Bears announced the news to the public.
"It was amazing how fast they released the statement," Urlacher said. "So they got off the phone with my agent, I don't know what time it was, and 30 seconds later they already had the statement out on Twitter. So they already had the statement prepared on this, obviously, because they had quotes from George and Phil and everybody in there. Right when they hung up the phone my agent said -- he used some choice words -- you're not going to believe this (stuff) they did. And they released it right away, so they were ready, they knew what was going to happen, they were ready for it obviously because they had quotes from George and Phil.
"I'm not upset. I was never upset. I understand the business side of football. It was just time to move on for me, that's all there is to it. I was never upset. Disappointed, yes. I want to be a Bear one-hundred percent. It just didn't work out. But I've never been upset about it, just disappointed."
In the team's prepared statement, Emery is quoted as saying "Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears" while McCaskey mentioned that, "(Brian) will always be part of the Bears family."
But Urlacher was lukewarm about the idea of one day returning to Chicago to have his jersey number retired in a ceremony at Soldier Field.
"I have no idea," Urlacher said. "I honestly have no idea if that would ever be possible. First of all they have to ask me to do it. I don't know if they want to do that or not. I don't know."
Urlacher said he does not anticipate the Bears reaching out to him in the future.
"No. I don't expect that to happen," Urlacher said.
The Bears' all-time leading tackler with 1,779 stops, Urlacher was the 2000 NFL Rookie of the Year, a four-time All-Pro selection, a two-time winner of the Brian Piccolo Award and was the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2011.