Brian Urlacher ready for new team

Brian Urlacher: One of last great linebacking headbangers





Urlacher, who will be 35 in May, said his agent has talked with the Minnesota Vikings , Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals . ESPN Twin Cities reported last week that the Vikings would not be interested in Urlacher unless his price comes way down. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones doubts Dallas would sign Urlacher, noting it wouldn't make sense to sign him as a backup to Sean Lee only to cut him in a year. "You don't ever dismiss Hall of Famers in my book," Jones told ESPNDallas.com. "It would be difficult. He obviously plays what Sean plays. To move everything around for a year doesn't really make a lot of sense. But at the same time, you don't ever rule it out." Urlacher Retires | Bears blog Urlacher, who wants to play as many as three more seasons, said he believes more teams weren't interested because they doubted he would hit the open market. "The crazy thing is no one thought I would leave Chicago," Urlacher said to Patrick. "All these teams this whole time they've talked to, they're like, 'Chicago is not going to let him go.





Brian Urlacher retires after 13 seasons with NFLs Bears





But football has changed even in the short time from 2000-10 when Urlacher was truly dominant. Rules changes have softened the position. Not just from the days when Butkus would grab runners by the neck and throw them into the bench, but from just a few years ago. Players today like Willis can be tough, but Urlacher could be cruel -- and I mean that in a good way. Cruelty is gone from football. Forever.









After 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears, the 34-year-old linebacker announced Wednesday that he has decided to retire from the NFL. Urlacher announced his decision on Twitter. After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire. Although I could continue playing, Im not sure I would bring a level of performance of passion thats up to my standards, Urlacher said in a written statement he shared with his 122,000-plus Twitter followers.. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13 year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. Urlacher, a free agent, has struggled with knee injuries of late and did not garner much attention on the free agent market. He sprained his medial collateral ligament and partially sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 2011 regular-season finale against Minnesota and hasnt been the same since then. Urlacher barely participated in training camp last year, had an arthroscopic procedure in mid-August to relieve the swelling, and spent most of the season trying to regain his old form. Then, he came up lame in coverage on the second-to-last snap of the Bears overtime loss to Seattle in early December, an injury that ended his season and, ultimately, his career. At his peak, the 6-foot-4, 258-pound linebacker was one of the leagues most feared defensive players. He broke in as a rookie in 2000 and earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors along with the first of his eight Pro Bowl selections.





Urlacher, Lewis broke the mold for prototype inside linebackers





The legs start to go. In your head and heart you think you can still get there, but the body says 'Screw it.' '' Indeed, there were times in recent seasons when Lewis and Urlacher were painfully exposed in pass coverage, with too much open space on the field to account for, and not enough speed to chase down the young and athletic skill-position weapons that enter the league every year. Legs are the indispensable part of an inside linebacker's game in today's NFL, and can't really be compensated for, at least not for long. It's one good reason we may not see the likes of Lewis and Urlacher -- and 15-year veteran Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher -- again. Athleticism has become so essential to playing the position that longevity may become an endangered trait. "I can make the argument that for a three- or four-year period, Urlacher was unbelievably great, because his speed and athleticism were absolutely special before he started getting older and his injuries started piling up,'' said Greg Cosell, an NFL analyst and senior producer at NFL Films. "He was a faster player than Ray Lewis, and even though we always talk about Ray Lewis playing sideline to sideline, Urlacher was the better pure athlete. But I think the issue Urlacher has with a Hall of Fame candidacy is that he really was only a great player for three or four years.