- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Jeffri Chadiha included former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher among 10 veteran free agents who have encountered surprising ambivalence on the open market. Perhaps that analysis prompted this exchange in Tuesday's SportsNation chat:
Kris (Des Moines)
Which is most accurate given his unsigned status? Urlacher is a fool for not taking the Bears offer or the Bears being foolish to offer him so much?
Kevin Seifert (2:32 PM)
How about neither? The Bears really didn't offer him much. The $2 million was not all guaranteed. He wasn't going to get too much more than the veteran's minimum. And I don't blame Urlacher for turning down the deal. You have to wonder if the Bears really wanted him back given the offer. I don't blame him for not wanting to put himself in that situation.
Indeed, as Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune has reported, the Bears offer would have maxed out at $2 million. It included $1 million guaranteed, which is just a bit higher than the minimum salary for veterans of Urlacher's experience. As we've discussed, the Bears were asking Urlacher to take what amounted to at least a 75 percent pay cut.
It's possible that a contending team will decide it needs a veteran middle linebacker closer to training camp, creating a market for Urlacher. For the time being, however, I'm not sure anyone has made a bad decision here. Perhaps it just wasn't meant to be.
Related: Former NFL general manager Ted Sundquist told ESPN 1000 that he expects Urlacher to generate interest this summer.