An eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro, the 6-foot-4, 260 pound Urlacher rejected the Bears one-year deal for $2 million in March and reportedly refused to accept a contract worth less than $3.5 million for the 2013 season.
“Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards,” wrote Urlacher, 35, Chicago’s pick out of the University of New Mexico ninth overall in the 2000 draft. “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.”
Named the 2005 Defensive Player of the Year, Jenny McCarthy’s ravager amassed 1,353 tackles, 41.5 sacks and 22 interceptions in 182 games with the Bears.
In contrast to fellow icons like Brett Favre, Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith, Peyton Manning and countless others, Urlacher will walk away from the gridiron having worn “only one jersey for such a storied franchise.”
Although it’s difficult to watch a legend get somewhat forced from the sport, Brian Urlacher made a “pretty clear” and sound “decision.”by