It never seemed likely that the Minnesota Vikings would pursue Brian Urlacher in free agency, given their sharp turn toward youth over the past two years. And now it seems clear that Urlacher had little interest in a mercenary-style role with the Vikings or any other NFL team.
On the day he announced his retirement, Urlacher told ESPN 1000 that he could never get his mind around playing for another team and was especially averse to answering a midsummer emergency call. The Vikings are giving veteran Erin Henderson a spring look at the position, and the thought had been that only a season-ending injury or a complete flop would have prompted the Vikings to call Urlacher.
"I didn't want to put another jersey on for any other team," Urlacher said. "Obviously it wasn't going to be for the Bears this year, so I thought it was the right thing to do to shut it down. …
"We talked to every team in the NFL, and maybe in July or August it would have happened, but I'm not going to wait. I want to be somewhere where somebody wants me. I don't want to go somewhere where, 'Oh, so-and-so got hurt, we need you.' I don't want that to be the situation.
"The Bears offered me the contract they offered me, and that was probably the best contract I was going to get from anywhere. And I'm not going to put my body through what it goes through for what the offer was."
You can listen to ESPN 1000's entire 20-minute interview here.