Sunday, March 24, 2013
Will Brian Urlacher end up in AFC West?
By Bill Williamson
On Saturday, ESPN analyst John Clayton was discussing the options for free-agent linebacker Brian Urlacher on "SportsCenter."
Two of the potential suitors Clayton mentioned reside in the AFC West -- the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders.
I got a chance to speak to Clayton about his thoughts. He made it clear that it was purely speculation based on potential fits. He said he doesn’t think either team would make a fast play for the former Chicago Bears star. Clayton explained that the market for Urlacher has been very slow and it’s difficult to think of potential suitors.
Clayton linked him to Denver because the team added veteran Keith Brooking late last summer. Clayton said he could foresee a situation where Denver looked to Urlacher if it didn't like what it had in training camp. Still, the team did sign veteran Stewart Bradley and he will be pushed by third-year player Nate Irving. Denver may be in better shape at middle linebacker this year than last year when it made the Brooking move.
Clayton said he made the Oakland connection in case the Raiders decide they want a veteran in the middle. The team signed ex-Chicago linebacker Nick Roach. He is a natural outside linebacker, but he started four games for an injured Urlacher last season and he is expected to be the Raiders’ starter in the middle.
Again, Clayton doesn’t think anything is remotely close to happening for Urlacher in the AFC West, but he thinks that could potentially change down the road.