Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/21/13
Brian Urlacher played for the Chicago Bears since 2000, and is a team leader in most of the relevant defensive stats.He was the backbone of the Chicago defense for years, and now he is no more.If Urlacher decides to play for another team, I am sure he will find one willing to give him a chance.To make a complicated story simple, Urlacher felt he did not want to play for the Bears for the amount of money they offered him.I believe he was low-balled a bit, however I am sure Urlacher wasn't taking into account his age and injuries. The Bears had a big change after last season, starting with firing head coach Lovie Smith. They also got rid of a slew of personnel changes from staff to coaches to aides.Urlacher will definitely be missed, and the Bears have already found a bargain to replace him. They signed former Denver middle linebacker, DJ Williams, for less money than they offered Urlacher, and although Williams is coming off a pair of suspensions, he is certainly an able and good player.Williams needs to rebuild his value, and the Bears can use his speed in the middle. The Bears' defense is certainly not suffering from any lack of talent, but you can't really just replace an almost guaranteed Hall of Fame caliber player like Urlacher without some issues coming up the following year.The Bears still have all-star quarterback Jay Cutler to lead the offense. They still have big name players on the other side of the ball like Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers. Even adding Williams is not a mistake really, but I think it would have been more beneficial to retain Urlacher instead.However, Urlacher will play again if he chooses to, although obviously not for the Bears. How will the Bears react as a team without Urlacher and so many other familiar faces on the sideline?I suspect the Bears will have a rough year in 2013. They will have a new head coach, new plays and systems going and be trying to get new additions to the team on the same page. I think they have all of the pieces to make a playoff, and even a Super Bowl run if they can get it going early in the season.I also think the loss of Urlacher and the other members of the staff and team will ultimately lead Chicago to a mediocre season with glimpses of greatness. Perhaps 2014 will be a better year for them once they all have a feel for one another.
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